Let me tell you something that you might find strange. I am really looking forward to growing old. Yes, I relish the thought of ageing, gracefully of course, and being full of years as the Bible describes it. The grey hairs that are now sprinkled all over my long locks do not worry me, they are an encouragement that my wish could possibly come true. I want to grow old.
You see, my parents died relatively young, both around 50. They were just in time to see one baby grandchild and they were gone. I can guarantee that my mother, especially would have made the coolest granny, discussing philosophical questions with big daughter, shopping for cute clothes with small daughter and making sure to agree with baby daughter’s edicts on maintaining cleanliness at all times. She would surely have indulged the well-fed beauties that are my nieces. My new born nephew would bask in the “only begotten” status that his father enjoyed.
I have come to realise that it is not actually redundant to have a mother while you go about the serious and complex business of “adulting”. Gosh, life would be so much more bearable with someone who is actually in your corner. Especially one with so much wit, wisdom and a wonderful sense of humour like my mother had. I recall a time we enjoyed a verbal sword fight. A group of plastic surgeons were in the country to give free medical care and the announcements on the radio sparked off my mum’s teasing. “You should go; you need to get fixed”. Not missing a beat, I responded, “Yes, we should go together since people are always amazed at how much we look alike.” Touché, right? Yes, my mean mommy vibe is inherited.
So, imagine what a fantastic mean granny I would be. Of course I will maintain the “sweet” part. This will be easy because of my being so grateful to be alive and yes, full of years. And as the Bible promises, my latter days will be better than my former days. By then, I will be in the harvest season of my life, reaping from the frantic sowing I am doing now. The painful sacrifices will have paid off, and the daring risks to be true and authentic to what I was designed to be will have borne fruit. This sense of well-being and satisfaction will make me the sweetest mean grandma, much sweeter than the sometimes stressed out and overwhelmed mum that I am.
I imagine that I will still be tough on my adult daughters, and expect their best effort in whatever they do. Of course, I will tease them mercilessly, and include their poor husbands too. Just like my practice has always been, I will not help anyone with their homework. But we can discuss great movie moments, and intriguing novel plots. Yeah, yeah, stop giving me your side eye, one has got to pick their battles.
Now as for my grandbabies, the same will apply. No homework help, but lots of adventures together. I will have enough money to indulge some of their fancier pursuits and will join them in learning and experiencing new things. I have a dream to celebrate my latter-year milestone birthdays in a country that has a totally different culture from my own or from where I will be living at the time. Having my grandkids with me for three months in Japan, for example, for my 60th birthday. Yes, I will be a sweet granny but one who also makes sure that her descendants are constantly kept on their toes. No one will escape having to hand grandma a book report.
What do you think of growing old? Do you dread it? Or are you like me, looking forward to a rewarding time of rest and renewed joy for life?