The Who, My Generation
I was 21 when my daughter Bridget was born; she had her first child, Caleb, in her late twenties; and today, my grandson and his wife, Leah, became parents to Jane Rose. All of this adds up to a new stage in life for my 76-year-old self—that of Great Grandmotherhood.
Caleb was a cheerful, spunky little boy with a thoughtful side who grew up to be a cheerful, athletic, intelligent man who is kind and generous. His raising up was similar to Louie, the Batchelor’s family dog. Louie, a rambunctious, stubborn, and smart pup, was the first dog on the Batchelor scene. Ronnie and Bridget, the adults in charge, raised Louie with kindness, consistency, and a firm hand—much the same way they raised their three children. There was to be no biting, slapping, hitting, howling or running into the street; you were expected to answer when you were called; you loved and supported your siblings and you were respectful to Mom. All four grew up to be loyal, caring, tax-paying (well, three of them) citizens with a commitment to fun, family, and faith.
Bridget was born in a military hospital where order was the rule and there were to be no questions or complaints. Women were lined up, assembly-line style; fathers were kept pacing far away in an outer corridor smoking cigars; and just-born babies were scrubbed, measured, and whisked off to boot camp. It is a kinder, gentler world now where birthing centers (and hospitals) offer a quiet, supportive environment with pillows, ice chips, colorful sheets, and fathers.