Great Blog Cross Pollination: Mommy Mavericks

by Lori Lavender Luz on December 9, 2009

in Guest Post

For the third year in a row, I am participating in the Great Blog Cross Pollination, organized by the fabulous Geohde of Mission Impossible.

This means that the post below was written by another pollinator, and that MY post for today is in this other pollinator’s space. And that I’ve met a very talented and witty blogger along the way to add to my blogroll (though I’m still scratching my head on how I’ve missed her).

You can see a list of other participants at Mission Impossible.

So, without further ado, I give you my pollinating twin, writing about…

Mommy Mavericks.

In the latest issue of More magazine, the following letter was written in response to an article in a previous issue titled Midlife Mommy Debate, which was about women in their 40s and 50’s becoming new moms.

 

“These women are incredibly selfish. I was raised by older parents whom I loved dearly. When I was born, my father was 52 and my mother was 45. I lost my father while I was in my twenties (he was 78) and my mother (then 84) in my thirties. After my mother suffered a stroke, I spent the first few years of my marriage taking care of her – and my toddler. My mother died four days after I gave birth to my second child, and I had a heart attack before the funeral. Do these ‘Mommy Mavericks’ realize how said it is that their children’s children will never know them”’ ~ Martha

I know that as a parent, I have a mountain of responsibilities to my two children, but not once did anyone ever tell me or imply that one of them is to make sure I live long enough for my grandchildren to get to know me.

When I was born, only two of my four grandparents were still living – both grandfathers. My paternal grandfather died when I was an infant. The other grandfather, my mom’s dad, I remember distinctly because he had only one hand and when he let me sit on his lap while driving the tractor, he would hold me with his good arm and steer with the hook he had on the other. He always brought us candy when he stopped by the house. Sadly, he died when I was very young as well.

I’ve written before how my husband and I are “Latecomers” as we had our first when I was 34 and our second after years of infertility treatment at 41. My husband turned 45 a couple months before her birth. Let’s say for the sake of argument that our kids will be in their 30’s before having children, and then add in the factor of when children retain a lot of their memories – say 10 – that will put us in our 80s. If we’re lucky.

While I hope that I convey to my children that they should have their children when they are absolutely ready, I know that I may also find there are times it will be tempting to warn them not to wait as long as we did. In fact, I hear my husband say in different conversations how if he was able to do it again, he would not have waiting to try to have children. That being said, I think it would be irresponsible to guilt my children into starting a family just to make sure my grandchildren know who I am.

Getting to know my grandparents had nothing to do with how much time I got to spend with them. It’s how their memories and their spirits are kept alive long after they’re gone. I pray that my children love and respect us enough to do the same.

Once I got over the flash of anger with Martha calling me and others like me selfish, I pity her. She obviously feels that the first precious years of becoming a mother were diminished her own mother’s illness. She states it’s sad that my grandchildren will never get to “know” me, but I think it’s a tragedy that her children will have the memory of their grandmother tarnished by their mother’s bitterness, which really? Has nothing to do with the fact that she was born to elderly parents.

=======================

Any guesses who my cross-pollinator is? And where my post for today ended up? ONLY if you want the answer, click here.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Well, first of all, I am not that Martha who would be so shortsighted and cruel about her legacy. The gift of life, love, and A Family at any age is one that should be cherished.
I feel sorry for this Martha too, she is the selfish one.
Nice to meet you, thanks for the great post, Mommy Mavericks.

Reply

KLTTX April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Great post. I am also a late-bloomer. I had my first at 33 and adopted my second at 38 (and thinking about adopting again at 40ish). Perhaps if I hadn’t waited so long (or had seen the RE before I did), my mother would have been around to enjoy being a grandmother but unfortunately, she died at 58.

Reply

Martha April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Well, first of all, I am not that Martha who would be so shortsighted and cruel about her legacy. The gift of life, love, and A Family at any age is one that should be cherished.
I feel sorry for this Martha too, she is the selfish one.
Nice to meet you, thanks for the great post, Mommy Mavericks.

Reply

KLTTX April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Great post. I am also a late-bloomer. I had my first at 33 and adopted my second at 38 (and thinking about adopting again at 40ish). Perhaps if I hadn’t waited so long (or had seen the RE before I did), my mother would have been around to enjoy being a grandmother but unfortunately, she died at 58.

Reply

JEN April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

I am a older first time parent at 36. And I feel it! Your post was very insightful.

Reply

areyoukiddingme April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Well, I, for one, was not mature enough to be unselfish before I was 35. My daughter was born when I was 37. I expect to have at least 30 more years preparing her to live without me. Based on current results, she will be able to drive by the time she’s 5, and after that I’ll be superfluous.

My dad was 48 when I was born. He died when I was 22 and he was 70. I wish I would have had more time with him, but again…he was NOT mature enough to get married and start a family before he did it at age 38. If you can’t recognize the life experience that older parents (and by extension, older relatives who are not grandparents) can transmit, then you are missing out on something very important.

Great post!

Reply

Geohde April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Do you know, Mystery blogger, I had never thought of being an older parent in that way.

Very thoughtful post and thank you for writing it.

g

Reply

Searching for Serenity April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Great post. Nice to “meat” you.

I’ve often thought about this. Less now that my litle one has arrived. But I thought a lot about it during our journey. All of my grandparents were dead before I was 18. Only one of those I really was able to develop a relationship with. After seeing my own dad fight for his life against cancer, I realized it’s more about the grandparent getting to meet their grandchild, than it is the other way around. That is what’s been most important to me, in my life. Everyone is different. And I certainly disagree with miss Martha. She’s out of line for even suggesting that older parents are selfish. Psshht. I believe that those of us that have waited, by choice or not, are better parents because of it. We have more grace and patience.

Reply

Kristin April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

What a fabulous post!

Reply

pottymouthmommy April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Bah- My parents WEREN’T in their 30′s and I STILL never got to meet either of my grandfathers. Of course I have the type of grandmothers who are so evil they just. won’t. ever. die. My dad’s mom- she’s so mean, she will probably outlive ME!!

I think it’s a lot more important to be ready for children. Because as nice as it may be to have grandparents and the memories they leave behind- it’s the memories of the overall FAMILY that children will remember with fondness.

Reply

jill April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

I have no guess as to who this is (but I’ll definitely be clicking over!) – this is a great post! Very thought provoking.

I too agree that the letter writer seems to be the selfish one, not her parents.

My dad died when I was 24 (he was 49) so even if I had managed to get pregnant at 20, when I started TTC, his grandchild(ren) would have hardly known him. My mom had me when she was 24 – definitely not “too old” by this writer’s standards – but my grandfather had already died and I never really got to know my grandmother because of geographical distance. To skip out on having children just because your potential grandchildren might not get to meet you is rediculous. You just can’t plan your life around when you may or may not die.

Reply

JEN April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

I am a older first time parent at 36. And I feel it! Your post was very insightful.

Reply

areyoukiddingme April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Well, I, for one, was not mature enough to be unselfish before I was 35. My daughter was born when I was 37. I expect to have at least 30 more years preparing her to live without me. Based on current results, she will be able to drive by the time she’s 5, and after that I’ll be superfluous.

My dad was 48 when I was born. He died when I was 22 and he was 70. I wish I would have had more time with him, but again…he was NOT mature enough to get married and start a family before he did it at age 38. If you can’t recognize the life experience that older parents (and by extension, older relatives who are not grandparents) can transmit, then you are missing out on something very important.

Great post!

Reply

Geohde April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Do you know, Mystery blogger, I had never thought of being an older parent in that way.

Very thoughtful post and thank you for writing it.

g

Reply

Searching for Serenity April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Great post. Nice to “meat” you.

I’ve often thought about this. Less now that my litle one has arrived. But I thought a lot about it during our journey. All of my grandparents were dead before I was 18. Only one of those I really was able to develop a relationship with. After seeing my own dad fight for his life against cancer, I realized it’s more about the grandparent getting to meet their grandchild, than it is the other way around. That is what’s been most important to me, in my life. Everyone is different. And I certainly disagree with miss Martha. She’s out of line for even suggesting that older parents are selfish. Psshht. I believe that those of us that have waited, by choice or not, are better parents because of it. We have more grace and patience.

Reply

Kristin April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

What a fabulous post!

Reply

pottymouthmommy April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

Bah- My parents WEREN’T in their 30′s and I STILL never got to meet either of my grandfathers. Of course I have the type of grandmothers who are so evil they just. won’t. ever. die. My dad’s mom- she’s so mean, she will probably outlive ME!!

I think it’s a lot more important to be ready for children. Because as nice as it may be to have grandparents and the memories they leave behind- it’s the memories of the overall FAMILY that children will remember with fondness.

Reply

jill April 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

I have no guess as to who this is (but I’ll definitely be clicking over!) – this is a great post! Very thought provoking.

I too agree that the letter writer seems to be the selfish one, not her parents.

My dad died when I was 24 (he was 49) so even if I had managed to get pregnant at 20, when I started TTC, his grandchild(ren) would have hardly known him. My mom had me when she was 24 – definitely not “too old” by this writer’s standards – but my grandfather had already died and I never really got to know my grandmother because of geographical distance. To skip out on having children just because your potential grandchildren might not get to meet you is rediculous. You just can’t plan your life around when you may or may not die.

Reply

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