Thoughts After an Unexpected Visit

An unexpected invasion of my house by four houseguests gave me pause to consider the consequences of mixing the generations together, what can happen when children are separated from their parents, and why giving birth to a child after the age of fifty is not necessarily a good idea—at least not for me.

“Too many cooks spoil the broth” is a good motto and is particularly true when having all four grandparents cohabitating with their grandchildren. I know that parents do not always agree with how to discipline their own children, so adding two additional parents to the mix—now “grands”—can be confusing to the children and awkward for the adults, particularly when trying to maintain civility. The good news was that there were no major explosions.

Children are exhausting, which is why parenting is generally meant for the young. Having our little visitors hear for seven days was fun, and they made us laugh—until the sun sets and something happened to their angelic personalities. That was particularly true of the two-year-old, who thinks I can be conned into thinking I will believe her when she says she will stay in her room.

A sixty-nine-year-old Italian woman became the oldest woman to give birth without any fertility intervention just two years ago. In 1887, a sixty-two-year-old woman gave birth to triplets, and a seventy-year-old Indian woman had a baby with her seventy-year-old husband via IVF treatments. That’s nuts! I wonder what bedtime is like at that house!

I know my grandchildren love their parents much more than they do me, which is how it should be. Even Mary Poppins recognized that fact. But when they adapt to their new surroundings and become too comfortable, then reunion time may be cause for tears rather than happy smiles.

Learning that news did not bring me comfort, and it made me wonder about all the children who have been separated from their parents at our southern borders. I hope that most of the reconciliations were joyous, but I am guessing that some of those children cried when greeted by their parents.  How heartbreaking for those moms and dads! Was it really necessary?

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