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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

The responsibilities of greatness

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The word great has many meanings. In the dictionary one definition is big or large. Another meaning implies more than usual. Other synonyms are: important, remarkable, famous, most important and favorite. And then there is the one meaning that applies to me. That meaning is; divided by a generation.

For over 19 years I have been great. I have been a great-grandmother. I still am a great-grandmother, but for one little one, I have added another segment to my greatness. I am now a great-great-grandmother to Avery Lynn Anderson. And since I think I did a more than passable job of being a grandmother or a great-grandmother, now that I am a great-great-grandmother, I expect to continue to be great in this role also. That makes me a great, great-great-grandmother.

I ponder on how I will carry out these opportunities. I could rush around taking care of everything for the parents so that they can just enjoy the baby and not worry about day-by-day things, such as preparing meals or cleaning house. But anyone who has eaten my meals, or seen my house, would not suggest that as a good role for me to play.

I can be like a fairy godmother and magically produce everything the new young family might need such as food, clothing and shelter. I don't think the higher-ups at First National Bank would agree to that being a good idea.

Maybe a plan could be for me to go to their home daily and take over running the house and taking care of the baby. I can think of a lot of good reason that wouldn't work. The main one is that I've been there, done that and even if I didn't get a T-shirt for doing it, I don't want to deprive these younger relatives of that experience. Besides, when I can't do it any longer, they won't have developed the skills needed to carry on without me. (That sounds better than saying I just don't want to do it, doesn't it?)

I could plan to be available to take Avery on outings and give the parents a chance to do things together without childcare worries. But that might deprive her great-grandmothers and grandmothers of these opportunities and that wouldn't be proper. There's only one little baby at this time so I wouldn't want to monopolize her good times. That wouldn't be fair to her other relatives.

I just had a good idea. I could just sit back and let all these younger relatives step in to help out. I can relax and tell everyone who will listen how it was when I was a baby, how it was when I had my children, how it was when my children began to have children and how it was when my grandchildren began to have children. And so on. That will be a big boon to the parents because everyone knows that getting the baby to go to sleep is high on the list of desirable things. The only problem will be I might get the adults to sleep quicker than the baby. But they probably will need a rest by then anyway.

Nobody except Lester and me can tell about the really old days. You know the days before having babies wasn't considered a spectator sport. The days when the father didn't even get to hold the baby until the new family was ready to go home, usually three or four days into the life of the child.

I wasn't even present at the birth of my first two children. I was off in la-la land somewhere while the doctor and nurses delivered my baby. But last week, I was there front and center and actually was the first relative to hold the baby and I even cut the cord. (The doctor didn't know how bad I am with sewing instruments.)

So now that I have found my nitch in this new relationship I will be refreshing my memories to be sure to have lots of stories to bore everyone to sleep.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus