Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let's Talk About (Grandchildren And) Sex

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.


  1. Oh my Lord! Here's a part of grandmothering I never even considered. My first grandchild will be here in September and now, amidst all the worries and fears I have there is THIS!
    But you know what? I think that boy is always going to love you so much. He's your Zac, no matter what.

  2. From all I have heard about you this weekend (which is quite a lot actually) I can only aspire to be half the mom and grandmother you are.

    Although I am trying.

    My son is 11. The thought of him fornicating with a female friend (or male for that matter although I'm fairly certain he is not swinging that way) is enough to drive me to drink.

    I'm not ready for that reality yet.

  3. I don't know how old Zach is so I'm not going to discuss whether he is actually old enough to be fornicating or not. However, I do want to thank you for this post. My oldest has had a girlfriend for a while now and his grandma has struggled with this. She seems to fight against him growing up much harder than I do. Much harder than she did me growing up. It helps to know that it probably has something to do with the wonderfully close bond they have and that I shouldn't fret about it too much.

    OK, so I will mention the wild thing. Aren't they always too young????

  4. Zach will always be a little boy in my eyes, too. Am needing to plug my ears now LA LA LA LA LA LA.

    (SP: Zach is almost 18.)


  5. You sound like a wonderful grandma.
    He will be fine, lol..

  6. y'know, i never quite thought about it from this perspective. but as one who is approximately Zach's age, all I can say is WOW i cannot believe that he's actually ok with you knowing that much about his relationships.... it really speaks to how close you all are. i can't even *imagine* my parents knowing that I had a boyfriend let alone how intimate we are, and if my grandparents ever found out... well, let's just say finding a puddle to drown myself in would be a very attractive option. so basically, i totally see what you're saying, but at the same time, all i truly take away from this post is that your family is AMAZINGLY close and loving and wonderful. and that's a fantastic thing.

  7. Hang in there Grandmom, it only gets more awsome. My granddaughter is going to have my first Great grandaughter, in July. And she is wonderful I can't wait to hold that angel and love her with all I've got. You have a lot of love in your family and I don't think you will ever lose it for a teenage crush. Just tell him to stay protected at all times.

  8. To me, a lot of the problem I have in dealing with this sort of thing is the realization that this GRANDchild - who somehow slipped into our lives because heaven knows we are not old enough to have children, much less grandchildren - is growing up. I too have a 17 year old grandson and when I hug him and look up at his 6'3" splendor, I cannot believe it because just LAST WEEK I was standing in the birthing room looking down at a little seven pound naked baby boy in a bassinette and thinking that now I am a grandmother.

  9. My advice is to stick your fingers in your ears, hum a little tune, and go to your happy place.

    It's better that way.

  10. I am going to immensely enjoy reading this little blog of yours! I lived with my grandparents from age 10 to age 25. Minus the technological capability, you remind me so much of my grandma. My grandma, who has a shaved head with long bangs, and wears fluorescent coloured shoelaces, and is one of my best friends. I am a new mom - 5 months in - and got to hear my dad's birth story, very reminiscent of your Lost Son's. With my non-technological grandma living across the country in Newfoundland, I will be reading and listening to you every chance I can! You are wonderful and amazing!