The era of new grandmothers

My friend is 39 years old. Recently, she decided to learn to pilot the light-engine airplanes. Before that, she set off for long hiking by the sea under sails. She climbed to some high mountains in Africa. She danced the tango with some fantastic men somewhere in Buenos Aires. Eh, what else she did… However, she never cried.

I could not remember seeing, at least once, her tears. And her life was not so simple. I would definitely have several reasons to sit down and cry from despair. But all this filled her with some kind of productive anger and she really moved the mountains. So, when she started up her first agricultural business, she learned to control the tractor herself in a few days because the hired tractor driver listened to the tasks and said that it was “too difficult”. When her husband died suddenly and she remained among a heap of debts, affairs, and with a small daughter in her arms, she was 22 years old.

And now she is sitting, wiping her tears and telling me: “Hi, I am a grandmother now. Can you imagine? I’m granny! I have a granddaughter, 3,500 g, 56 cm, leggy, and with big eyes. I am a grandmother, and I do not even know how to hold the spokes in my hands”. She cried affectionately, and I laughed. After all, right now I will tell her that modern grandmothers, they are somewhat different.

Modern grandmothers are predominantly young. They are from the generation that gave birth to children at a young age, their adult life began already at 18. As my other friend says, “We are from that generation when one 40-year-old woman is a grandmother and another 40-year-old woman is a young mother”. And so it really is. Of course, modern 40-year-old grandmothers are completely different grandmothers, of course, they can both knit socks, make compotes and bake pies… But at the same time, they jump with a parachute, can easily drive several types of transport, travel, have amazing interests and hobbies. I really see grandmothers on the playground, who are almost my peers. And it is beautiful. They fly from a slide together with their grandchildren, gladly score a goal to their grandson, and allow their granddaughters to wallow on their backs in the dust, they can also lie down next to them. Of course, it is difficult for me to determine whether it is a mother or a grandmother. So I said to Nadiyka recently, “Go and ask Milanka’s mom.” and “mom” of Milanka laughed and said, “You won’t believe, I’m a grandmother”.

Modern grandmothers are not so immersed in their grandchildren or in the lives of children. Most of them rigidly defend the borders of their freedom. You can hear from them “Of course, today I will sit with my granddaughter, but bear in mind that today I still have a gym, tomorrow I have training, the day after tomorrow I have work, and then a date”. They force to appreciate their needs and desires, they live their lives.

My friend’s mom doesn’t ask her grandchildren, whether they eat or wear hats. She travels around the world with them and teaches them to light a fire in extreme conditions. Her grandchildren do not know what grandma’s pies taste, and they don’t see this as a tragedy, they can buy those pies in a store near the house, but no one will show them all possible ways of setting a fire. My friend dyed her fashionable and modern hairstyle in blue as a sign of her granddaughter’s support, when her mother forbade her to dye the hair. Another friend spent his salary on tickets to a rock concert for his granddaughter.

And this is not insane. This is a normal life in the world of understanding and love, in the world of respect. Where the grandmother considers the feelings of the grandchildren, where the grandchildren appreciate every grandmother’s minute, where the children do not give birth to kids to give them away to their parents, but because they want to be parents themselves.

My friend is 39. And she became a grandmother. Today she cried, apparently for the first time in her life. She cried because she does not know the lullaby, she cannot weave socks and bake pies. Do the modern grandmothers need that? I know for sure that tears were emotional, she cried because she saw that her daughter had grown up, became independent, and she became a mother, she was happy with that little coat with a pink nose. And I advised her never to give up the courses for pilots of light-engine airplanes. Because pies can be bought in any store, but not every grandmother will teach you to fly in the clouds.

Modern grandmothers are different, quite different. They travel, they constantly study, they live their full, active, interesting life, they can often tell a fairy tale in several languages and for grandchildren, there is a place, a lot of space, and a lot of love. Do not cry, beautiful one, that your grandchildren were born, this is just one more confirmation that you live an interesting and active life, and early grandchildren are not a sign of your premature old age, this is just a sign that you still have a lot of strength ahead, and time to teach grandchildren to love the life!

 Text by Tatusya Bo

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