Living

Celia Rivenbark: You don’t need a college degree to do the grandmother math

I’ve been so busy raising the Princess for the past 18 years that it was only when we got back home from the Weepiest Drive Ever taking her to college that I had a panicky thought hit me out of nowhere: I am going to be the world’s oldest grandmother.

I suppose being a very old grandma has always been in the back of my mind, but I kept it smushed down and pushed back to the darkest region of my brain where I keep Ernest T. Bass quotes from “The Andy Griffith Show” and every recipe containing cream of mushroom soup because, well, you know.

It’s simple math, of course. But it’s a math those of us who don’t have kids in our 20s, or, ahem, our 30s, don’t really think about at the time.

We are so gobsmacked with love for this tiny creature we will nurture and nag for the next 18 years that we don’t think about the grandparent business. That’s for old folks. In their 50s. Like me.

When I realized that I would be 80 years old before I became a grandmother if the Princess waits til 40 to have a baby like I did, I dealt with this in a mature way. Oh, come on. Have we met? You know what I did, but I’ll spell it out just to confirm suspicions.

Me: “Hey honey, how’s it going?”

TP: “Uh, fine. Didn’t I just see you 90 minutes ago? Did you leave something in my dorm room?”

I paused because the reflexive response would’ve been a passive aggressive, “No, no, honey. That’s just a trail of tears you see; it should dry up shortly. Much like my lifelong dream of bouncing grandbabies on my lap.”

Me: “No, it’s just that I was wondering if maybe you could have a baby in the next 5 years or so.”

TP: “Mom, is dad there? Are you having a stroke? Can you touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth?”

OK, so we may have watched a little too much “Grey’s” together.

Me: “I’m fine, honey, but I just did the math and realized that you need to have kids while I’m young enough to tell you how to properly raise them.”

TP: “But I start college tomorrow. This is not the time.”

Me: “Nonsense! You have the rest of your life to go to college! I just read about a woman who got her degree at 90. College isn’t going anywhere but my ability to be a grandmother while I can still remember who the president is is fleeting.”

She sighed and said something that, in retrospect, sounds made up: “Oops, gotta go. My roommate just got cholera.”

That night, as I whined about my almost certain lack of grandmotherhood, Duh Hubby reminded me that the Princess must live her own life on her own schedule and that it’s not all about me. I know, right? He cracks me up.

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