This evening, the kids and I were having dinner at my parents’, when I started doing some math in my head.
“You know,” I said. “By the time the baby graduates from high school, I’ll be 51 years old.”
“Wow!” my dad joked to my 6yo daughter. “You’re mommy will be OLD!”
“Yeah!” she said, laughing. “…and Nana will be DEAD!”
I scolded her softly for saying such a thing, but my mom chimed in that “she’s probably right, and I’m just glad to be able to see her now when she’s six!”
I guess I take for granted the fact that both of my grandmothers are still alive. They’ve watched me graduate (three times), get married, become a teacher, and have babies. I try not to think about my parents dying. Despite the fact that it hasn’t been that long that my mom has been in remission from ovarian cancer, I mentally avoid the subject altogether. Perhaps, for me, thinking about how thankful I should be that she’s still around means I have to think about when she won’t be. It’s easier to just imagine that she’s not going anywhere — that she’ll be there for my kids’ graduations, weddings, and babies.
It surprised me that my daughter, who normally is devastated by such thinking, was so flippant about the subject. It did not, however, surprise me that my mom was very gracious about it. It’s easy for me to pretend she’ll always be fine, but she is a realist and a very loving grandmother who appreciates the time she gets to spend with her kids.