Four generations were represented at our Thanksgiving feast. Sort of.
My husband and I cooked. He is 57, and I am 41. You can debate among yourselves whether that constitutes two generations. I say that for some things (like the TV you choose in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep) it is two. For others, it’s one. Because he’s 20 years younger than my mom, and 20 years is the standard measure of a generation, right? Right?
Our kids are 5 and 6. They are full-on, wrestling, arguing over whose turn it is to play nickjr.com games, talking too loud, rumbling through the house like elephants youngest generation. Our son ate only turkey and mashed potatoes. Our daughter ate everything.
The fourth generation is the one that I am aging out of. Two of my husband’s new co-workers joined us – early twentysomethings with good-natured tolerance for small children, lovely table manners and adult knowledge of the world and what’s going on in it.
And it hit me. Technically, I am old enough to have birthed them. (I would have been a teen mom, certainly, but there are lots of those.) We are no longer really contemporaries.
Getting older doesn’t really bother me. I don’t color my graying hair. I don’t obsess about the wrinkles appearing in my forehead or about how my eyelids don’t just spring back anymore on the rare occasions I swipe eyeshadow across them. I don’t wince when my son hollers out in Walmart, “Mom, are you 40 or 41?” But my perspective is changing. My place in the generational order is changing. And it’s weird to see that change reflected in how others treat me. Our guests yesterday didn’t call me “ma’am,” but it was close. And I guess it’s time I just grit my teeth and accept it. Gracefully.
by Jennifer Goode Stevens, local mom, writer, and editor at Goode Edits.