The Old Gray Mare and Me…

Published 9:53 am Thursday, January 18, 2018

My desk looks like a cyclone ran through it!  I am attempting to type between a mound of crayons, coloring books, markers, and scattered pieces of torn paper.  Also, my check book has new line drawings in multiple colors on its pages which truly makes the balance look better.

My 19-month-old granddaughter is napping.  She will be back at this desk this afternoon to finish her office work and art before returning home.

Today is a school holiday.  Many grandparents are watching their precious ones while parents work.   My friend, Deborah, is keeping her two grands next door.  Carter and I visited them this morning and enjoyed make believe cookies plus a can of pretend tuna in a play kitchen. Carter tried to cook while holding onto her crayons.   She takes her art very seriously.

Over the weekend, we also watched our other 18-month-old grandchild, Mr. Jax.  Carter is everything dainty, girly, and artsy, whereas, Jax is everything opposite. Just think linebacker on the UGA football team.  His bow legs carrying his stocky frame that has no clue what fear is.  Look for him next year as the newest recruit.   He will be the shortest one on the field.

Picking up Jax and Carter is akin to lifting a bowling ball and a feather.  And, boy, do they like for me to pick them up! Carter loves me to carry her while getting kisses.  Jax wants me to lift him to see what is on the counter, the shelf, or if there is something he needs to fix.

I raised three children, worked full time, cleaned my own home, cooked every meal, and was most recognizable as the mom who had three children attached to her body.  I worked out, slept an average of 6 hours nightly, sewed, wiped away tears, and warded off illnesses.

Where the heck is that woman?

Deborah and I still work out and declare we have not changed much since those early times.  We ignore the mirror on most days and get lost in our world of make believe just like those toddlers in their make-believe kitchen.

Today my body is asking me a serious question: “Are you trying to kill me?” My back is in spasms and my neck is no longer able to carry a brain.  My feet ache and my eyes are half open.

A song keeps floating around in the brain now on the floor: “The Old Gray Mare, she ain’t what she used to be many long years ago!”

Nope, I guess she ain’t.  As much as I hate to admit it, I couldn’t do what I used to as a Mom.  Age has a way of speaking her mind even though most of the time, I ignore her.

There is a lot I would change about the woman and mother I knew long ago.  I would now be more aware of every moment of the three lives hanging onto me. I would listen more intently, have more patience, and hug them even harder.  I would appreciate the seconds spent with me and not worry so much about the seconds missed at my desk.

I wish I could hold a meeting for all young parents and tell them a few lessons I learned as a Mom.   However, I have seen that even when I try to tell my own children and step children, they look at me, eyes rolling, as the Old Gray Mare.  Did I look at my mom the same way when she gave me her wise words?

The bottom line is I guess that is why there are grandparents.  Old Gray Mares may not be what they used to be, but maybe what they lack physically, they make up for in wisdom.

A child knows when you love them enough to let them mess up your desk, floor, or kitchen.  They know they are loved when you demand good behavior with soft words.  They understand that your time is theirs and nothing can interfere with the pleasure of play.

My oldest granddaughter and I still enjoy a sense of play.  She applies my make up and tells me how to work my phone.  She is entering the stage of “Oh, Lord, please don’t!”, which is also known as the teenage years. No matter where or what stage she is on, she knows for sure, this grandma will be there.

There are challenging years ahead for all these precious children.  They will rise and fall on many occasions.   However, what will temper the fall is the Old Gray Mare’s words of encouragement, pure love, and open arms.  Those of us that have once carried the weight of the world, still try, even though our backs are swayed, and our brains occasionally fall on the floor.