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Don’t call me “Grandma?”

13 May

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/12/fashion/noticed-who-are-you-calling-grandma.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.mc_id=ST-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-WAY-051211-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

Boy, I haven’t had such a strong reaction to someone’s silliness since Gwyneth Paltrows life as a working mom post.  Ironically, at the heart of the article is her mother, actress Blythe Danner.

I expect I am not alone in my reaction. Soon, I predict, there will be “clarification” or a retraction, or more context given to the quotes in the article. The media, especially of late, is often guilty of sensationalizing something..so people will pay attention and do what I am doing: reacting.

I don’t know if this is a phenomenom specific to highly image conscious communities and industries like Hollywood. I’d like to think so. I have never met a man or woman who weren’t tickle to be called Grandma or Grandpa, or some form there of.

Gwyneth Paltrow states her mom is “young and hip.” Seriously, how COOL is that, really? Should we care, or want, our parents to be hip?  I don’t. I’d like to think there will be a day when we don’t care about those things, and actually value our age, our life experience, our wisdom.

Sometimes I think I disappoint my daughter with my fashion choices. I favor natural tones like brown, olive for shoes and jackets. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and my jewelery is usually artisan, not glittery or glam.  Make no mistake, I get a kick out of her smile when she sees me wearing something that , in her estimation, is “fun.” (For instance, I peace sign sweashirt I have had for years, that I did not get at Justice.)

But seriously, at almost 41, how could I respect myself if I wore clothes that pleased my 7 year old daughter all them time? I would modeling to her the very things I want to teach her not to do: being too slavish to trends and opinions of others, to sacrifice comfort for fashion (they can and do co-exist), to betray your own sense of style, beauty and aesthetic.

I want the women who come before me, and the women who come after me to feel joy in each stage of our lives. Each stage has such rich, wonderful experiences..mingled with some pain or loss..but they were all meant to be lived, and not stayed in forever.

I personally will feel blessed beyond measure when and if I am someone’s Grandmother. That will mean for me, my kids made it to adulthood, and will be experiencing the intense love and responsibility I feel. Plus..isn’t there a bumper sticker somewhere out there about “If I had known being a grandparent was so great, I would’ve skipped the kids altogether?”

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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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