Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hair Raising/Child Raising

Hmm. Just finished reading a flurry of articles regarding the sixy-seven year old British woman who decided to have a baby. Of course one does think of the child, then again, you can't really ignore this woman's incredible focus and drive.

First of all, this woman is NOT typical. And not just in her desire to have a child at an age wherein most women welcome grandchildren! She owns and runs a fairly large business. She's wealthy enough to afford multiple dwellings. She's physically fit, eats well and doesn't smoke. Yes she's divorced and without family. We must mention again the word "wealthy" as it can be applied in many circumstances.


At first of course, I went through the "walk in my shoes" moment and thought, there's NO WAY in a MILLION years I'd have a baby at 67. The crying and mess, the joy and fatigue, the sheer amount of TIME it takes to be there for every "first" of that human- baby, then pre-schooler, then kindergartner, then elementary student, middle school student, high school student, drivers training, college student.... The daunting thought of PTA involvement and play days, and doctors appointments, dentist appointments, orthodontists, sports lessons, sports games, parent-teacher conferences, school plays, concerts, music lessons, dance classes, and the long indentured servitude to the fund raising branch of the private school...

Then there's the fact that all your friends are made during the school year because of the children you all had in common. The sad fact also, that sometimes you liked your childrens friends more than you liked your own children!

I wonder if we all
don't, secretly, just want her to experience the torments of child rearing along with the blessings!!

All these thoughts though, are because I had my three babies when I was in my early 20's. My husband and I were poor. True, we had "potential", but literally NO MONEY. We were healthy, because we were raised well, and educated properly. On the down side, I had to learn to cook so we ate 'interesting' meals for years.


This woman will experience NOTHING of what I experienced. Her staff will experience it all and she won't miss out in the knowing, because she won't know, and she won't care that she won't know! She will be there for the important things. She wanted a baby for a long time, so I am guessing she WILL know how to love the child. Ultimately that's really all that matters.

In purest essence, the relationship she will have with her child will be exactly the same relationship she would have had with her "grandchild". And she will experience the same wonderful relationship in all probability the best of all possible "grandparent" relationships. She has the finacial freedom to opt into or out of any of the myriad of details regarding the whole child rearing thing-a-ma-bob.


A long time ago, in a moment of panicked confusion over something one of my children was doing- I remember reading something about parenting. The gist of the article was that each of your children turn out differently because you are different at the point each child is born. In effect: each child is born to a different set of parents than his sibling. As individuals you are different from who you were before the birth of the previous child, your marriage is in a different place, your economics are different, sometimes your dwelling is different. All three of my children could be from different families, (or different planets!) they are so different from eachother.

As for the "being there" part of child rearing? Many of us (NOT all!!) abandon our parents in our 20's and 30's and 40's, and except for helpful financial handouts or babysitting duties we really don't relate to them until our children are on the point of leaving home. Their "sage words of advice" are often irritating and yes, - truth told- ignored.

The accusations of the "ego trip"part of having a child so late in life are, I must say, the most flimsy. Whilst going through the active hands on process of child rearing for the better part of 23 years, I can't tell you how many parents who were my age acted like their child was their own personal super-ego, whether in sports or academics. (even now after being a parent for 40 years, I have to say I still hear the puffed up pride in the "my boy" stories from friends and acquaintances... ego is as ego does.)

And for "being there" for the important events of a child's life?? My father died of a sudden heart attack when I was 10 years old. Life makes no guarantees to anyone.


I do remember tho that I was gutted when my grandfather died when I was 17. I was sad I couldn't be with my grandmother when she died in her 90's - but I was glad she'd got on an airplane for the first time in her life when she was 80 to come and meet her new baby great grandson! My grandmother always made me feel like she'd do anything for me.


Well I have thought about it, and in some ways this wonderful British woman's fullfilled every potential grandmother's dream. She gets to have the grandchild without the son or daughter-in-law to mess up the relationship.

All in all, not too shabby.


No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails