Monday, 9 April 2018

Little girls need old women

Recently I smiled when I read a post that commented, “little girls need old women,” but almost immediately thought of my own old age, only a decade or two away, and our confident plan to be somewhere where any transitions can be dealt with more easily in our old age without children, and realised that it will be harder to be around little girls there, to be the old woman they need, to get the rewards of being there for someone else. At first, I felt conflicted, wondering if it means I should try to stay in the wider community as long as possible, so that I might have the chance of meeting little girls I could befriend and nurture and listen to? Maybe my plan isn’t as reasonable as I think it is?

I thought of the logistics of doing this, and then I thought of the effort of trying to move, when frail and vulnerable and easily stressed, without any younger generational support, when it was inevitable that I would have no choice but to move. No, my plan still seems sound (though I do have another fifteen or twenty years or so to figure it out properly). And sure, I can be the kindly great-aunt, the one ready to listen to great-nieces when or if they visit. But living where I do, without any relatives nearby, the opportunities for that will be severely limited. So whilst my plan might be sound, what it may mean is that infertility has robbed me even of being the friendly old lady across the road. I feel a little sad at that, because old women need little girls too.

5 comments:

  1. I agree... old women need little girls too!
    xo

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  2. I agree with you. I also think you should continue with your original plan. Opportunities for mentoring will find you, so don’t modify your plans. And no guilt for not doing so.

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  3. I think I would love the opportunity to have some young(er) people in my life on a more regular basis. The relationships could prove helpful for all.

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  4. You warm my heart! And I am hoping that because your heart is open to little girls they will find you.

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  5. Awww, I love the idea that little girls need old women, and old women need little girls. I loved hanging out with the older ladies in my neighborhood, and had lots of "honorary grandmas." Maybe regardless of where you live in the future, you could find ways to be a community mentor? Is there a library where you could volunteer in the children's section maybe? They wouldn't necessarily have to be little girls that you are related to (although that's nice, too). We also have this Generations Child Care thing where I live, where they have daycare that's paired with elder care (responsibly), and it gives all the older adults the chance to be with little kids, and all the younger kids a chance to be with older adults (as some have no living grandparents). Hmmm, maybe there's a way to start a program like that where you are, even on a really tiny scale.

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