Time on the March

One byproduct of getting old is watching your children age. John and I had eight kids between us when we were married–four each. We used to get a nervous  giggle out of folks when I explained, “yes, we have eight kids, four are John’s and four aren’t.” But now they’re all mine and I’m grateful to have them, every one. Happily for all of us they were pretty well grown when we joined families. When I get back to Minnesota they usually arrange an “Everybody Come” event to catch up. Which is good since they don’t often have occasion to get together otherwise. Isn’t that what matriarchs are for?

This time there were all kinds of signs that time is marching on. John and Dianne hosted a birthday breakfast for Walter, the first great-grand,  to celebrate his first birthday. Those “kids” are grandparents! Mike announced that he is planning to retire next summer and Linda says she’s ready to sell their gorgeous little house and yard and downsize to a condo with less maintenance. Retired!? Chuck and Lisa’s Chad just moved into his own condo, and Kathy and Nick’s oldest, Robert,  is graduating from highschool. Cara, the youngest of the brood is turning fifty in June, which means now every last one of them is eligible for AARP membership!

Looking at that busy, active group I had a flashback of all the accumulated living it represented over the years–graduations, weddings, new babies, holidays, joy and, of course, some heartaches.

The occasion for my trip north was more somber. Laurie was having abdominal surgery for her Crohn’s disease and I wanted to be there to fuss and hover and bring her pillows and ice chips. She’s battled that nasty ailment most of her life and she’s done it with grace, patience and good humor. She’s been an example for us all.

Life’s lessons don’t always pass from parents to children. Sometimes they move in the other direction –  from children to parents.


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Coming of Age by Rosemary Rawson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

One comment on “Time on the March

  1. Pat Gebes says:

    I’m pretty much in the age range that you are but I only have three kids, 7 grands and now 2 greats. I’m a friend of Laurie’s and I must say that she definitely handles her health issues with grace and aplomb. She took her first drive last week to meet me for lunch. We had a big day and she was exhausted by the time we headed our separate ways, included a stop at Sam’s Club. Sometimes I find pearls in what my peeps have to say, especially the grand generation, all from senior in high school to early 20’s. Sometimes it’s nice to see that I’ve rubbed off on them a bit in a good way.

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