With the warm weather, I’ve been walking around town more with my 9-year-old daughter. Sometimes people give me a quizzical look. Am I the grandma or the mom? Or perhaps a babysitter? I smile to myself – they probably would never suspect that at the ripe old age of 46, I delivered this little girl into our family. Sometimes I don’t believe it myself.
The truth, though, is that I always sort of hoped that I would be an older mom. When I was a little girl, our bus driver had streaks of gray in her red hair, and she had her little boy on the bus with her while she took us to and from school. I thought that was great, and that the little boy was lucky that he got to go to work with his mama every day.
I also remember some of the really big Catholic families that went to our local church — families with 6, 7, 8 and more kids — and wondering if they would have at least one more baby, and then one more after that. I always thought to myself that if I had a husband who would let me, I’d like to keep having them until I couldn’t. That way I would never have to look at one of my kids and say, “This is the last one.” I didn’t want to ever make that decision – I just wanted it to happen all on its own.
Of course with time, God and biology did make the decision that my little girl would be my last baby. She will be 10 years old this year and I’m fine with it. I love that she is still so excited about birthdays and Christmas. I love that she wants to read all of those little-girl books, like the Little House stories, so that I can read them again too. I love how she wears the dresses that her sister used to wear, but puts her own flair with it. And I love how she still wants to cuddle on the sofa, or snuggle in bed until her daddy comes to sleep.
I remember reading once that the greatest fear couples in their 40s have is pregnancy. The idea of that shocked me! I can’t imagine what I could be doing in my life right now that would be more fun that watching this beautiful girl learn and grow every single day and I’m so grateful for the chance. In fact, she encourages me to do things that I might NOT have done if she were here! My interest in photography, for example, was inspired by her and my technique improves the older she gets.
But the best thing about being an older mom is the chance to re-learn and appreciate my Catholic Faith as I teach it to her. She loves saying the rosary and she was my only child to embrace the scapular. She has taken to making our peg saint collection grow too! Her enthusiasm about learning and living her child-like faith makes it fresh and new for me too.
Maybe that’s one of the mysterious ways God had planned for me all along!
Copyright 2015 Elena LaVictoire.
All photos copyright Elena LaVictoire. All rights reserved.