Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14 Day 14

Two weeks without Facebook. It keeps sending me emails to tell me I need to check in because my friends have posted a jillion updates and I've been invited and I have friend requests. But I delete those emails. Who sends wine to a recovering alcoholic? (<--I'm not an alcoholic- that is a metaphor or something like it) (and it is rhetorical anyway).  Maybe they keep a list of everyone with a 99 days profile pic? Whatever....stop harassing me, Facebook. 

I just saw a picture of Simon Cowell holding his baby son. Very cute. But it reminded me of a great topic- grandparents. Or the upcoming lack thereof for a huge number of children being born today.

Cowell is 54. If his son graduates from college in a reasonable time, Cowell will attend his son's graduation at the age of 75 or 76. If his son marries at 30 (which kids do these days and even later), and has a baby 2 years into the marriage, Simon will be dead.  

I'm from a generation that had children without giving it too much thought. At 25, my doctor asked when I was going to have a baby. I said "well, it isn't a good time. We haven't got any money". And he said  "Every year that you get older, your fertility decreases and your risks of having a baby with Down's increases. And I can tell you, if people only looked at what they could afford or waited for the right time, the world wouldn't have a population problem. Think about it".  He was right.  (Especially since he was killed in a hydrofoil accident just before I delivered- but he lived long enough to have his own family know who he was and convince me to go ahead and have a baby. <-that's just an aside.)

But the generation after mine has made it almost to or into middle age- some without marrying and others delaying having a child. Probably for the same reasons I gave my doctor.  I did go ahead and have my kids when I was young and swore I would not have a baby after I was 30. I didn't want to be the mom who went to graduation looking like a grandma.  I never comment on a baby's relationship to the caretaker because I don't know if that is the baby's grandmother or mother! Now, I know some grandma's are taking care of their grandchildren. But many of my friends are empty handed and wondering if this is it for them.

Here is the end result- no grandmoms will be able to travel, babysit, have fun with their beloved grandchildren because they will be too old. Just do the math.

But here's the rub- those children will grow up to have  kids and if they wait, there won't ever have been a grandma in their lives. What a loss of a support system, and, for a lot of kids, a loss of great acceptance and tolerance and love and spoiling. Grandma will be a concept. A beloved ghost in their lives.

Maybe I am wrong- maybe the little kids of today will develop a sentimental sadness for the lack of grandmothers they have, and they will get to the business of having their children in their 20s again. And maybe they'll even lecture their kids on it. You don't need to be rich to have kids. People have children in grass huts still, and that baby's mother, grandmother, and probably great grandmother are all there for the love and support.

The day that grandmothers are no longer in children's lives, well, that will be a sad day indeed. Ironically, the girls and women  of the 60s who demonstrated and pushed for women's right to control their pregnancies by ending and preventing them, pushed to be free to not marry and have careers and not be a "housewife", pushed to have lives free of criticism- those are the girls who are today's potential grandmothers. I guess we believed that women would find a way to do it all.  But since career building is done in one's 20s and 30s, well, that explains it all. So we did, in the end, get what we wanted. 

Today's photo won't happen until later if I remember to take it! We have company coming- very, very soon.  So I better go dust!

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