True to its mercurial weather reputation, hail pounded on the car later in the day. Okay.
Our vist to New York and environs had many parts. Roxie at the center, of course. In a couple of weeks, she will be four. Already an accomplished nursery school attender, she was easy to be with. We took her on an hour tour of Sunnyside, Washingon Irving's early 19th century home, and were impressed with her patience. Never having had grandparents myself, not having had much interaction with grandparents for our children, it's all OJT (on the job training) for me.
That's the reason it's been a frustration that so few other bloggers talk much about what they've learned. Of course, it is tricky to negotiate that line between too much personal information (one's children often have a different view) and online exchange for the sake of learning from one another.
Real time conversation among peers when I lived in New York City proved elusive. Only two close friends were grandparents. In The Transition Network, an organization for older women, I discovered how our view of ourselves as professional women seemed to get in the way of talking about children. Yes, that was something that the second wave of the women's movement taught us. We had other identities than "mother" and needed to bring them forward. And we had to be sensitive to women who by choice or chance did not have children.
Back in 2007, I wrote HERE about this and received a number of thoughtful responses:
Feminists writers, the few that will identify themselves in that way, have a narrow focus on older women, usually directed to frailty in aging. Important as this is, we need to empower ourselves earlier in the aging years by thinking and writing about where we see ourselves in the cycle of parenting. Grandfathers too.
Lately I've been meeting more "older grandmas" like myself--the ones who started child-bearing late and whose children did the same. The issues are different and the same as I learned in a brief exchange with another relocated grandmother (on her way to Powell's Books) on the Portland streetcar. I was on my way to a book club--novels on aging, at Elders in Action. More later.