Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Found the Silver Lining!

Ten years ago... I had just moved to a new city, a tad over age 30... and more than a bit worried about being single. I was living with my cousin and his wife for a few months, and in one conversation with her about my dating life, I said, "If I don't find someone soon, I might never have kids!"
Because when you're 32, people are constantly warning you about your waning fertility.  Don't worry, they shut up when you turn 40 - which is equally hurtful. 
She told me not to worry about it. Unless I was planning to have a child without a husband, there was no point worrying about it.

That's hard to accept.  We like to think we can control what we want to control, even though we know full well that we can't.
So I had a long talk with myself. Could I be okay with it if I never had children? Yes, I decided, at age 32, that I guess I could be okay with it.
That lasted about a year. Until one day I was driving in a homey neighborhood and it hit me. "If I never have children, I'll never have grandchildren. And that is NOT OKAY!"

Quite frankly, that's when I got a bit panicky about finding a husband. I didn't want to grow old alone.
I couldn't imagine a life in old age, and not having any grandchildren stopping in to visit me.  Can you imagine having no family in your old age? That's terrifying.

But I've just made a discovery.
I've realized that now, at my age (a touch over 40) you just have date divorced men.  Men who have reached 42-43 or older having never been married or had kids... you know what, they're just not right. I know the same could be said for women... and I'll get into that some other time. My nutshell answer... women don't do the asking.

Anyway... when you date divorced men, they tend to have kids.
One man I've been getting to know has a son who is 20.
Another man has three kids... one who will graduate from high school soon. And it dawned on me... step-mothers, in healthy family relationships, get to be grandmothers!!

Why that never occurred to me before, I don't know.  My own, dear nieces and nephew have three sets of grandparents. The woman who was someone's step-mother - is just as much their grandmother as their parent's mothers.

This is so exciting to me!
If I were to be so blessed to have a husband, I would accept any children God gave me. At the age I am now, I'm not sure I would choose to start a family any more. If God ordains that... sure. I'll do what He calls me to do.
If I'm not called to have children, that's okay too.

But having Grandchildren just became more likely than having children!!!  I LOVE that!

(this post dedicated to the wonderful woman who was the 'third grandma' in our family - please give an eternal hug to my daddy when you see him! We were blessed to know you.) 


Erin McBride said...

My great-aunt was married for at least 40 years when her husband passed away. They had 7 children together.
She remarried about 5 years later to a man who also had 7 children!
My great-aunt and "step-great-uncle" were married for nearly 20 years. Between the two sides of their family, that makes dozens of grandchildren, and dozens more great-grandchildren, who only ever knew them together (and not the previous spouses).
At my great-aunt's funeral, it was kind of strange to see so many "grandchildren" that I didn't know, but at the same time, I was thrilled that they still considered her their grandmother.

Alida Lowe said...

My aunt got married 3 years ago -- for the first time -- at 49 to a widower from her church who had two young adult kids (his daughter actually got married a few months before they did).

Last week, her step-daughter had her first baby, and my aunt became a grandma!

I'm sure that there are a lot of mixed emotions from everyone -- even though my aunt and her stepkids have a great relationship, it would be a bittersweet experience of missing their mom, who passed away 5 or 6 years ago. Still, she's thrilled to be a grandma, and my grandma is thrilled to have another great-grandchild (and has thoroughly adopted my aunt's stepkids into her own brood).

You're right -- when relationships are good, kids get to have more grandparents than they know what to do with. What a blessing!

Genevra said...

*big smile* I think that is the reason I have loved being an aunt that has been an active part of my siblings kids' lives. That I get to give that maternal love in some form and fulfill that desire in me through some way, even if it isn't the ideal way I'd want.