She is my daughter. She is not my granddaughter.
I am old enough to be my daughter’s grandmother. I will be fifty-six this fall. My daughter was born in 2002 when I was forty-three years old.
I know I could die my hair to avoid the comments. The hair on my head is brown with grey on the sides. I wear it long.
The woman handing out bulletins at the entrance to church said, “How nice of you to bring your granddaughter to church.”
“She is my daughter.”
And the lady we bought the dog from asked my daughter, “Is this your grandmother?”
“No, she is my mom.”
And the nurse at the hospital, eight years ago when my husband had an emergency appendectomy, said to my three children, “That’s so nice that your grandmother brought you to visit your dad.”
“She’s our mom.”
I was Hannah weeping outside the temple praying for a child. I was not drunk. I was distressed. God answered my prayer.
He gave me three children.
God answered my prayer when I was thirty-six, forty, and forty-three. And in between the birth of my three children I had four miscarriages.
I will not die my hair, to avoid the questions and comments. I have grey hair and fine lines around my eyes. This is me.
Why am I embarrassed?
Why does a simple assumption about my age and my child embarrass me? Like there is something wrong with being a mom who is old enough to be a child’s grandparent.
I married when I was 31. For the first six years of our marriage I did not conceive. Tests, repeated tests, daily temperature charting ovulation, drugs and no baby. And women would ask: all – the – time.
“When are you going to have a baby? Don’t wait too long. You are older. Hey, I just got pregnant this month, why don’t you get pregnant next month, and we can have our babies at the same time?”
As though getting pregnant was like ordering a pizza. You order the pizza and it gets delivered.
I was embarrassed to be an older mom. I felt defective. My eggs were slow to release, or my eggs hid from the sperm all the years the sperm were trying to find the egg, they didn’t work right. As though I should feel shame to look old enough to be my daughters grandmother.
A baby is a gift at any age. There are no rules about the right time to conceive or not conceive.
My children are fearfully and wonderfully made.
She is my daughter.
And I am her mother.
I would love to chat with you. Do you ever get mistaken for your child’s grandmother?
Please tell me in the comments.