Tonight we were at supper with my in-laws and their visiting family. My husband’s niece was there as well with her children, including their youngest who recently turned two. One of the visiting family members, Sally, repeatedly requested that the two-year old come over and sit on her lap “…because I don’t have any grandchildren yet.”
The first time she said it, I didn’t think anything of it, but by the third time I was ready to smack her. As if saying that would suddenly convince the two-year-old that “Oh! Hey! I could totally pretend to be your grandchild, Strange Lady I Just Met Today…if I knew what a “grandchild” was, but you know how it is, being TWO and all!”
You know how people make vague announcement, like “Man, could things get any worse?!! *sigh!*” and you know the only reason their doing is is to get you sucked into whatever woe-is-me story they have going on? Well, I just knew that’s what she was doing with that “I don’t have any grandchildren yet” lead. However, since I’m totally antisocial and of the I-don’t-give-a-fuck personality, she unfortunately was barking up the wrong tree.
Luckily (??) someone else finally picked up on her sad sighs and asked her about her children. As I helped Aitch cut up her food, I eavesdropped.
“Well, I just really want a grandchild, but you see, my son, he’s been married now for a couple of years. He’s 31 and I just know that if they haven’t had children by now, they never will.”
I can’t really explain why this made me unreasonably angry, but it did enough that as soon as Sparring Partner and I were in the privacy of the car, I screeched at him. “Maybe they CAN’T have children?? Did she ever think of that?! If she’s constantly moaning about it to us, what kind of guilt trip is she laying on her son and daughter-in-law?”
If HE is 31, then we can safely presume she’s 31 or younger. Hell, I was 34 when I had my son! My husband was 37!! It always makes me uncomfortable when parents talk about their children giving them grandchildren because that means they are thinking about their sweet baby getting it on and conceiving. I don’t want that visual. Aside from that, some couples may not even want to have children. Being 30 seems so, so young to me. Many 30 year-olds don’t even a career, for heaven’s sake.
Having gone through years of infertility and miscarriages and dozens of embarrassing medical procedures, if I had to add my Mom’s (or Mothers-in-law) disappointment over the lack of grandchildren, I’m sure I would have gone straight to Batshit Crazy Hell. Someday, I hope I do live long enough to have grandchildren, but I would rather my children simply have fulfilling and rewarding lives that DON’T include me.