In approximately three months, I will become a…(deep breath)… a grandmother.
I am just straight up going to admit that this brings up some really narcissistic qualities in me that I do not like, so this post will not paint me in the best light. But I am being honest in my look at midlife, and honesty isn’t always pretty. Neither are yoga pants. Honestly.
My older son Jake and his girlfriend Sam are pregnant and due in June. Baby Wesley will change their lives in so many ways, ways they don’t even comprehend. I would try to tell Jake about these changes and advise him on how to handle them, but no one can tell a 22 year old anything. Ever. He will live, love, and learn in his own time, just like I did. He will be a great dad.
But this post isn’t about Jake, or even the baby. It’s about what happens to a person when they cease being who they were, by no real choice, and they move into another person’s body. In my case, I am moving into a body of a grandmother, which most people visualize as creased, age-spotted and bat-winged, with a bun on top.
Age is a strange thing – you have a number that represents how many years have passed, but time is a man-made concept (proven by the idiotic practice of Daylight Savings Time.) The naturally occurring events that mark time, specifically including menopause and grandmotherhood, will be undeniable signs that I. Am. Getting. Old.
In the movie Monster In Law, Violet says of her future grandchildren, “Can’t they call me Aunt Violet instead of Grandma?” I have noticed lately that a lot of women are choosing to be called Nana or Gigi or something….ANYTHING…other than the traditional Grandma, Granny, or if you live in Indiana, Mamaw. The day I began hating the term “Mamaw” was a few years ago, when I was at the Mexican place for lunch and had to listen to a two year-old scream the word repeatedly and loudly for about 25 minutes. I am choosing to be a Mimi. Hey. If I can fight aging with semantics, far be it for me to surrender.
No matter what country music says, there is no such thing as a “sexy grandma.” I am so not ready to give up the fight to look sexy, yet I don’t want to become a joke. I fear I will soon be the old woman on the funny greeting cards in a bikini and a birthday hat. Grandmothers are sweet. They are frumpy. They do water aerobics and fast walk in Easy Spirits. I am not that lady, whose name is always Doris or Edna.
I am certain that when I hold Wes for the first time, I will forget all of this. I have been told by many people that I will be madly in love with him and none of these feelings will matter. This may be true. But for now, I’ll hold on to the fantasy that at some point in the near future, someone will mistake me as being Wesley’s mother. And I will not correct them.