The Year in Review

From a stress-filled college reunion and couples dance lessons to a (messy) introduction to grandparenthood, 2009 brought many middle-aged milestones to this baby boomer

Ah, another year is about to bite the dust and boy, it’s been a doozy.

The big news was that our family tree sprouted a tiny twig, but there were plenty of sideshows along the way. A milestone college reunion. A road trip from hell. A major case of the middle-age blues, and a texting obsession that ruined my thumbs.

It all got started in January with a reality smack to us age-sensitive baby boomers. “He’s so young,” my husband whined as we watched our new president take the oath. “Correction,” I whined back. “He’s sooo young.”

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Soon after, we began an anxious countdown to the Big Day: Our first baby giving birth to her first baby. The secret of grandparenting became clear: Now we’ll have two generations to worry about.

Then came February and the healthy debut (phew!) of Samantha Rose. She greeted us via her daddy’s cell phone from the delivery room. She had me at “Hello,” or in this case, “Waa!”

In March, four generations of our clan gathered to meet little Sam. Talk about “Sandwich Generation.” I felt like the Swiss cheese in the middle of a ham on rye.

April brought my first pimple in 35 years, courtesy of the Menopause Express, but I had other problems. The new mommy went back to work and Grandma was relearning the Art of the Diaper. Note to self after Day One: Idiot! Remember? Never lift a baby unless the bottom half is completely covered. Oh well, I needed new shoes anyway.

May found me perplexed by a new cell phone until two technology experts (ages 12 and 10) came to the rescue and got me hooked on texting. “Keep practicing, Aunt Kathy,” they said, and asked to be paid in pizza.

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In June, I thrilled my doctor and agreed to have my first colonoscopy. Let’s just say it was all that everyone said it would be. When it was over, I treated myself to a visit with the smiling, cooing, and rolling Samantha.

July was vacation month, so the hubby packed up the car and drove me seven long hours away from the Catskills to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“Mountains? We came all this way to see more mountains?” I complained and looked around in vain for the beach.

“Not more mountains, different mountains,” he grumbled and turned the car around.

August brought an invitation to our 30th college reunion. We made a checklist for the weekend: camp chairs, grandbaby photos, enough Maalox to last three days.

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In September, I recruited a friend and fellow member of the Displaced Workers of America for some retail therapy. We spent a bundle and felt lots better. Talk about a stimulus plan!

October’s chilly weather signaled the start of couples dance lessons, the mid-life crisis badge of honor. “I want to stay home and watch the History Channel,” he said. “We are the History Channel,” I shot back. “Get your dancin’ shoes.”

November brought my annual holiday anxiety dream: Angry turkeys and burnt sugar cookies chased me down Main Street. Then I remembered… I am someone’s grandmother. A new Christmas stocking needs to be hung. Dollies will reappear under the tree.

As December dawned, I reached a conclusion about 2009. Job woes, new pimples, and old nightmares be damned. It’s been a very good year.


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