As I mentioned in my last post about weddings, one of my high school girlfriends announced this past week on Facebook that her daughter is now engaged.
Tonight, another high school girlfriend had another announcement: she & her husband (her high school sweetheart) will become grandparents later this year. I wasn't prepared for the stir of emotions I felt as each "congratulations!" commented popped up on the screen. I'm not sure what stung more -- all the "You will love being a grandparent, it's so great!" comments -- reminiscent of the comments I remember reading from my mother's friends in their Christmas cards to her, 14 years ago (AFTER Katie's stillbirth -- guess they hadn't heard the news...) -- or the stunned realization that many of them were being made by *other* people I went to high school with (but hadn't thought about in years) -- people who clearly had already crossed the Rubicon and are now grandparents themselves already. Dear Lord, I'm really not THAT old, am I??
(Hmmm, I guess I am.)
Here I am, still and forever mourning the baby I lost 14 years ago, at 37, struggling to imagine her as a budding teenager -- while my peers have moved on from parenting tweens and teens to young adults, university students -- and now are moving on to an entirely different plane -- grandparenthood -- while I am... not.
These aren't the first of my peers to have kids getting married or having babies. My cousin became a grandfather more than five years ago now, when he was 40 and the ink was barely dry on his daughter's high school graduation diploma. I learned last year that a good friend from high school is now a grandmother. Dh's cousin (the mother of the bride-to-be), younger than both of us, is a grandmother of one with another on the way shortly. And of course, there's New Grandma Coworker at my office, still checking in almost daily on the phone to get the latest baby report.
"Great moms get promoted to GRANDMA," I remember reading on a mug once. And wincing. I happen to think my own mom is pretty great. And I feel horribly guilty that she never got to enjoy the perks or recognition of grandmotherhood (even though she IS a grandma).
And while I never got to enjoy the perks or recognition that come with being an active parent, I have tried to be the best mom I can to my daughter, despite the limitations that death has placed on our relationship.
But no matter how great a mom I am or might have been, I will never get promoted to Grandma. It's just one more loss, one more thing I am missing out on.
My life is pretty good most days... Being childless/free has its advantages. I am able to do a lot of things that my peers with kids can't.
But sometimes... well, you all know the rest...