Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Changing generations

It was the teenagers who told me that I had crossed over. Not with words. It was the way they looked at me. I still thought of them as younger brothers and sisters, but it was clear that they saw me now as a "them" not an "us". With three children, I was definitely on the side of the parents.

It took me a long time to get used to it. I thought of myself as a young person who had acquired some children, but no. I had been booted up a generational bracket, whether I accepted it or not. My life was full of mini-vans and diapers and parent-teacher meetings.

Now it's happening again. No, I am not announcing the arrival or even the future arrival of any grandchildren. But whether I like it or not, I am slowly being eased up another generational bracket. My nest is empty (although one fledgling is contemplating a return), my hair is grey, my waistline is, um, ample, and I'm handing out unsolicited advice. All the symptoms are there. Actual grandchildren will only be the confirmation.

And really, I'm not sure I'm ready. Life expectancies being what they are nowadays, there are a lot of people up in the fourth generational bracket, which means there are still a lot of people I consider old codgers, even as the generation below me considers me an old codger, and they - though they probably don't quite realize it - are considered kind of old themselves by the generation below. It's positively dizzying.

I think I'll go cry on my mother's shoulder.

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Joel said...

who would have thought?
what a wicked curveball life has thrown you.

Janet said...

Just wait. Your turn will come soon enough. This curveball is for everybody. I'm just wondering how typical my reaction to it is. I'm not ready to be a little old lady. I just can't see myself as one, and it's disconcerting when other people do.


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