Bloomin’ Moms: A Later Mom Shares Oldest Mom/President of the PTA – By Suzanne G. Beyer
Baby Sabrina entered this world, a 7 lb 11 oz, healthy, blue-eyed girl. Relieved that she didn’t have three eyes and two noses, I couldn’t get over how perfect she was. At 38, and considered an “older” mom, I just knew there’d be something wrong. However, I walked, jogged and swam during pregnancy which, I’d like to think, contributed to Sabrina’s good health.
How excited I was to telephone relatives clear cross-country in Massachusetts heralding the news. This was a call that lifted their spirits and mine, as they gathered to bury the ashes of my mom who had just died. With such conflicting emotions, Sabrina became my little rock, as I put all energies into her to offset my sadness – walks, smelling flowers, reading books. Yes, I held her on my lap at two months old and we “read” together. We even took Mom-Tot swimming lessons where she loved reaching for the ball in the water as I held her tightly.
Raising Sabrina was so easy (she slept through the night at six weeks) that I decided to return to work part time. This didn’t last long as my husband’s company transferred us to Anchorage, Alaska, for three years. Following two miscarriages, Alaskan-born Baby Kalisa arrived.
Kalisa entered the world at 8 lbs 15 oz. I was 41 years old and in not such great shape as I was before Sabrina’s birth. I can thank my lucky stars that Kalisa, too, was delightful. Sabrina took her role as Big Sis seriously and taught Kalisa everything – how to roll over, how to crawl and even at ten-months-old, how to walk.
Upon returning to the Seattle area, with daughters now in school, I napped daily after lunch. I also volunteered in their classrooms – often bringing in my puppet creations, “Hans und Heidi” who spoke only German. What I didn’t volunteer for was to drive children on field trips, however, usually got roped into this due to lack of drivers. I quietly asked the teacher, “Can you give me all the good kids?”
I even became PTA President of the elementary school. At 49, I was the oldest President the school ever had. I enjoyed organizing meeting agendas and the enthusiasm of members wanting to hold book fairs and carnivals for the kids. What I didn’t enjoy was certain members using the meetings as a platform for personal agendas…in a somewhat belligerent manner! But, I discovered, too, that younger PTA presidents experienced the same problems.
Our neighborhood was filled with moms ten years younger than I. I once asked Sabrina what she thought of having an older mom.
“I don’t like it…You’re going to die sooner,” she said.
But other than that, both girls appeared happy with their mom. In fact, I think they were/are proud of their “older” mom.
During junior high and high school, kid commuting kicked in at lightning speed. Both girls were on soccer teams, school volleyball and club teams and played instruments in band. And wouldn’t you know? All these activities took place during traditional dinner hour.
Dining became a dilemma. I was determined that the girls eat a well- balanced meal. When I began serving them chicken, potatoes and vegetables as soon as they walked in the door from school, Sabrina rebelled. She just wanted a cookie “like the other kids.”
I learned to be creative, and came up with Dining OnThe Dashboard. I packed sandwiches, carrots and other goodies in a cooler, which the girls ate while I drove. I’m proud to say, I never whisked them through a fast-food restaurant. Well, almost can say that…when Sabrina had Club Volleyball practice miles away, we’d head back home around 9:30 p.m. and drive through McDonalds for a pick-me-up ice cream. Then, she started her homework, finishing around midnight or later. I hated those nights.
“In my day,” homework was done right after school, or early evening. There was no going out at night – period! I was a cheerleader in high school, and the latest I arrived home from practice was 6 p.m.
The girls always saw their dad and me reading and writing at home. Who’s to say what kind of influence this had on their lives. But both are college graduates – Sabrina (30) has her Masters in Marine Science and works as a researcher, and Kalisa (27) is a Medical Assistant at a children’s hospital and coaches high school volleyball.
Empty Nest was especially difficult for me, but I soon joined a swim exercise class and a weekly writing class and met many new friends. I now feel like one of those neighborhood “young” moms.
Suzanne G. Beyer is the co-author of The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs (written with Attorney John S. Pfarr). Investigation Discovery TV highlighted her book in a portion of a show called The Will which aired on November 9, 2011. Suzanne is also Associate Editor and freelance writer for Seattle magazine Northwest Prime Time and has published numerous articles in national magazines. For more information, visit www.theinventorsfortune.com.
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