Monday, January 21, 2008

Me....a Granny??

I never thought it would happen to me, but it did. I've heard others speak of it, but I figured I would never fit the bill, especially at this time in my life.

I was wrong.

Yesterday I was at our neighborhood diner with my husband, a friend and her two kids, and my son. I had taken him potty, and we were rushing to exit the bathroom. As we washed our hands, a woman entered the bathroom, saw us, and asked if I was the mom or grandmom?

I was stunned. Livid. Totally caught off guard. And, suddenly quite self-conscious. I stole a fast glance in the bathroom mirror before we exited, examining the age of my face. Ok.....I don't look 22. I admit it. I have a couple of frown lines. I certainly feel more tired than I did when I was younger. But, could someone truly mistake me for a grandmother? I could be a grandmom at 47, that is true, but I only became a mom at 42. And, some become first time moms even later than that. It is a personal choice.

I looked at the woman, with a look of horror on my face, no doubt, and responded, "I'm not going to respond to that," as I bolted out the door with Seth.

When I got back to my table, I told my husband and fellow mom/friend what had happened. She, in fact, has a full head of gray hair, and said it has commonly happened to her. I, on the other hand, have no gray (except for some hidden strands)...and I don't color my hair.

So...what was this about, and why did it get to me so?

Do I dress like a grandmom?

Where my mannerisms somehow like one? (whatever that means)

My friend responded that the stranger probably looked at Seth's blonde hair, compared to my almost jet black hair, and surmised I couldn't possibly be his mom.

Why did she need to know? Once you have a child, does it give complete strangers free license to say whatever is on their mind that relates to you as a parent? I have often had the experience, when I'm at this same local diner, of others eating nearby trying to catch the eye of my son....or comment to me that he his cute, etc. It's nice, but I really don't go out to make conversation with others when I'm with him, so sometimes it feels a bit odd.

We go to this diner alot. Does it make me want to go there less now? In a way. Though, I realize that is foolish. Seth loves it there.

I have to shrug this off and not take it personally. People can say or think a lot of things without thinking. I guess they're curious, though it can sure feel insensitive when you're on the receiving end.

Truth is, I can't quite imagine potentially being a grandmom one day. Right now, Seth is my little buddy, and I'd like to keep it that way. So...bring on the Oil of Olay anti-aging Serum. I'll do what I can to keep the years away.

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Blogger Cheryl M. Wenzel-Nelson, M.A. said...

I had my twins when I was 47. They are 3 this week and I will turn 50 in 2 weeks. It bothers me a little, I won't lie. I wish I was younger. But I tried valiantly for 10 years to become a mom and went through the wringer in my efforts. So, it's not my fault. It's not as though I chose to give birth when almost 50. I was just about to give up, in fact, because I felt I had hit the line when I was too old. And then, of course, as so often happens, I got pregnant with twins.

it bothers me, as well, to have someone ask if I am the grandma, though it doesn't happen often. Thankfully, most people keep their thoughts to themselves. It's just the few who can't control themselves. My biggest concern is not fitting in with the younger moms at their preschool and then in elementary school and onward. I'm also not looking forward to the day when they themselves ask why I'm so much older than the moms of their friends.

Mostly, I choose not to think about it. But sometimes it comes up. :)


7:36 PM  
Blogger Robin Gorman Newman said...

Hi Cheryl.

Thanks for sharing your experiences/perspective.

First let me say, happy birthday in advance. Are you going to do something special to celebrate? I feel like every new decade is a milestone and something to be grateful for.

It will be interesting to see what comes when kids become age conscious, but they'll love us no matter what, thankfully.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Catherine McDiarmid-Watt said...

I think it's the same as when they used to call my first son a girl, while he was dressed in blue jeans, blue jeans jacket & baby construction boots - people just don't think before they open their mouths!

I have had people think my now 9y old grandson was my son often over the years, even while standing next to his mom.

And yet, one day, while out with my 18y old son, who I had at 34, someone called me his grandmother!!

Catherine from

8:23 AM  

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