In recent months I’ve had a couple of funny experiences with my kids. One time I took my youngest to the eye doctor’s office to get his new glasses. The technician took him back to fit them for him and when he returned to me he look rather perplexed. He said the woman had said something about him going back to his ‘grandmother’.
He asked, “Do I even have a grandmother?”
The simple answer is yes, everyone has two. For my kids the answer is, they’re all dead. My youngest can’t remember those who died in his lifetime. But it got me thinking about how old I really looked.
Then I had the second experience. I was at the store with my youngest adult daughter. At one point as we neared the entrance she must have stepped past me without me noticing. I looked around to see where she was and couldn’t find her.
Then a young man nearby said, “Ma’am, ma’am. Your granddaughter is over here.”
I think I gave him a nasty look as I spotted my daughter getting a cart.
Do I really look old enough to be a grandmother? Of adults?
Okay, grant it most people wouldn’t assume any of my daughters are adults. So we’ll assume they thought I was the grandmother of a high school aged girl. Do I really look that old?
Okay, so I have visible grey hair. Not as much as I always thought I’d have at this age and I’ve earned every strand. I am in my fifties after all. And that’s probably the point. I was nearly 39 when my youngest was born. My three youngest all tell me about classmates with grandparents my age.
Assuming you waited to be an adult (18) to have children, and your child did the same, you could still be a grandparent at 36, and therefore at my age have grandkids in high school. Nowadays kids aren’t even waiting that long.
I got married at 28 and my oldest was born when I was 29. So yeah, I guess I am old enough to be a grandparent. Only thing is, unless you count those covered in fur or feathers, I’m not one.
So the whole situation got me wondering. When I’m out running around with my grandkids someday are people going to assume I’m their great grandmother? Or, since my kids aren’t rushing into marriage and family either, will people assume I’m their great-great grandmother?
Then again, even with the grey hair, people assume I’m younger than I am, though it’s been awhile since anyone has told me what they guessed my age to be. Although a couple of years ago a gentleman I know said something about his old body and I responded saying something about having arthritis in my back for over 40 years.
He said, “How can that be if you’re only 39?”
He may well have been teasing me, but I was over 50.
Now ask my identical twin about people assuming she was closer in age to our cousin’s adult daughter than to our cousin. Our younger cousin.