Ah, ladies! We’re in awe of both your chutzpah and your biceps. And, to think you are not only tolerated but rewarded for being aging know-it-alls!
Go to http://wapo.st/uPHS3B for a delightful story about Russia’s annual search for the best-of-the-best grandmothers in the land. Pick up the coveted title at your local senior center and you may travel to Moscow to compete as finalist in the Super Babushka competition.
According to the accompanying photos, Super B herself is feted with ribbons and pins, an armful of borax and floor polish, and denture cleaner for life. As titleholder, her name is added to the list of great old ladies of yesteryear, the ones who could quiet a screaming child, whip up a borsht dinner for eight and replace brakes on the family GAZ, all at the same time, leaving nary a drop of sweat on their colorful headscarves.
No shrinking violets here. Beauty queens need not apply. Candidates for this award learned their skills at the feet of their own babushkas and from all who came before. Likewise, their own recipes, remedies, shortcuts and catalog of life’s lessons will pass down as legacy to today’s and tomorrow’s Russian mamas.
I wonder how many US grandmothers of a certain age would want this title?
As a grandmother and mother-in-law, I find the urge to boss – I mean, share my acquired wisdom (much of it acquired the old fashioned way, through horrible mistakes and wrong-headedness) – is strong, but not strong enough to start a war with grown children gingerly maneuvering the minefields of parenthood. Instead, I try to spread my "suggestions" and "insights" through feature stories and blog posts.
It seems a shame to let all this knowledge go to waste, doesn't it? Besides, it's always easier to accept advice from someone you don't know, for some odd reason.
How do you rein in your underlying babushka tendencies to be the grandmother you want to be or wish you had?