My first-born grandson, Zachary, will, in my heart, always be the son I didn’t raise. I was in the delivery room when he was born. I didn’t approve of his father or my daughter’s marriage to him so when Chrissi divorced him two years later it was a good thing.
Zach, his Auntie Cathy, his Uncle Kyle and myself have always been extremely close. We (mostly me) delighted in terrorizing him – monsters in the closet, trolls under the bridge, sharks in water and, of course, big slobbery kisses at every opportunity – the more public the better. We also drove Chrissi crazy by painting his fingernails and toenails every chance we got. Our terrorist tactics did not leave any permanent scars. We also didn’t have much luck trying to influence his thought processes. My daughters and I were (and still are) pretty vocal about the superiority of women – we could never get Zach to buy into that. When Zach was about four, his Mom and I took him on a camping trip. He took it upon himself to protect us – at each campsite he strung rope around the trees to keep the bears away from us, he gathered wood so that we would be warm around the campfire. .
We had endless discussions on what women (particularly Grandmas) should and shouldn’t do – Grandmas shouldn’t drive hot cars. Grandmas definitely couldn’t drive motorcycles. Grandmas shouldn’t wear short dresses, low cut clothes or brightly colored clothes cause they weren’t “grandma clothes.”
As Zach got older, he relaxed his views on what Grandmas could and couldn’t do. Zach and I have had many laughs about his early years and he, very lovingly, calls me his "crazy grandma."
Zach now has a girlfriend and I am finding that difficult – much more so than when my daughters had boyfriends. I never felt I lost my daughters when they fell in love, but I am now feeling a sense of loss. What makes it even worse is that Zach and his girlfriend are “doing the wild thing”.
He’s not old enough!
In my mind, Zach is still that little guy who strung rope around the camp to protect us, who stood up at Cathy and Kyle's engagement party, gave a toast to “flamily” and told Kyle to take care of his Auntie. Zach is the little boy who escorted me along the beach on a sunny afternoon eight years ago, stood in front of the Marriage Commissioner, friends and family and said “I give my Grandma to this man.” I have never felt so proud.
My mind is not ready for female friends and fornication.
Not ready at all.