June 13, 2007

Grandma Mary

My mother was only 52 when my oldest Anne was born. I had to wait until 62 to become a grandmother. Look how young she looks. She was an incredibly energetic grandmother, the kind who takes their grandchildren to Europe. Teenage Anne once commented: "I could even visualize you and dad dying, but grandma is immortal." Sadly, she didn't live to meet her two great grandsons and her great-daughter. By year's end, there will be six great grandchildren.

The downside of women's having children after they are settled in their careers is that their parents are older. Their children might not be grown when the parents have to confront the dilemmas of elder care. My grandmother was 47 when I was born. She lived long enough to meet 23 great grandchildren. Of course, her children had their children much younger as well.

My mother, my aunts, and their friends had their children young, then went back to school and embarked on a new career in their forties. For the most part, they did well. My Aunt Rosemarie went to law school at age 40, and went on to be chief counsel to the president of Stonybrook University.

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