My mother at 43 gave birth to her last child. My sister Bethany, a feisty sort even at three years old tested my mother’s common sense, at least from the perspective of others. In the dead of winter with fingers stiff and numb, my mother regularly hung the clothes on the line. One particularly cold day, she could not get in the house. Bethany had locked the door. My mother became a negotiator on the frigid side of the door. This was only one incident of many that helped fuel others’ perspective that having a baby in your 40’s and raising a child into your 50’s and 60’s is crazy stuff.
At nearly 60 my youngest is 14. A daughter. I am not so sure that I am approaching late age motherhood as gracefully as my mother did. The world was different when my mother raised her last. War was happening across the expanse of the earth. Far away. News came days later via newsprint or through mail. Today the globe has shrunk. Every little decision made has instantaneous repercussions. The internet is a blessing and a curse. Our lives are no longer private. Boundaries are blurred. There is some real disfunction out there. All these elements, in my mind, puts my daughter at risk. Much of my brain space is spent in my desire to protect, which at times robs me from the joy of mothering.
The mamas of today balance the wonders of the world with the dangers of the world. Did my mother worry as much as I do? She made it look so easy and so much fun.