I never thought it would happen to me, but it did. I’ve heard others speak of it, but I figured I would never fit the bill, especially at this time in my life.
I was wrong.
Yesterday I was at our neighborhood diner with my husband, a friend and her two kids, and my son. I had taken him potty, and we were rushing to exit the bathroom. As we washed our hands, a woman entered the bathroom, saw us, and asked if I was the mom or grandmom?
I was stunned. Livid. Totally caught off guard. And, suddenly quite self-conscious. I stole a fast glance in the bathroom mirror before we exited, examining the age of my face. Ok…..I don’t look 22. I admit it. I have a couple of frown lines. I certainly feel more tired than I did when I was younger. But, could someone truly mistake me for a grandmother? I could be a grandmom at 47, that is true, but I only became a mom at 42. And, some become first time moms even later than that. It is a personal choice.
I looked at the woman, with a look of horror on my face, no doubt, and responded, “I’m not going to respond to that,” as I bolted out the door with Seth.
When I got back to my table, I told my husband and fellow mom/friend what had happened. She, in fact, has a full head of gray hair, and said it has commonly happened to her. I, on the other hand, have no gray (except for some hidden strands)…and I don’t color my hair.
So…what was this about, and why did it get to me so?
Do I dress like a grandmom?
Where my mannerisms somehow like one? (whatever that means)
My friend responded that the stranger probably looked at Seth’s blonde hair, compared to my almost jet black hair, and surmised I couldn’t possibly be his mom.
Why did she need to know? Once you have a child, does it give complete strangers free license to say whatever is on their mind that relates to you as a parent? I have often had the experience, when I’m at this same local diner, of others eating nearby trying to catch the eye of my son….or comment to me that he his cute, etc. It’s nice, but I really don’t go out to make conversation with others when I’m with him, so sometimes it feels a bit odd.
We go to this diner alot. Does it make me want to go there less now? In a way. Though, I realize that is foolish. Seth loves it there.
I have to shrug this off and not take it personally. People can say or think a lot of things without thinking. I guess they’re curious, though it can sure feel insensitive when you’re on the receiving end.
Truth is, I can’t quite imagine potentially being a grandmom one day. Right now, Seth is my little buddy, and I’d like to keep it that way. So…bring on the Oil of Olay anti-aging Serum. I’ll do what I can to keep the years away.