Thursday, May 18, 2006

We've been adopted...

My husband grew up the youngest of four kids. He is a full 10 years younger than his oldest sibling and his parents were 40 when he was born. He has never really known grandparents most of his life. Both of his mother's parents died before he was born. His father's Dad was still alive, but in poor health when my husband was a small child.

The grandparents who I grew up with and who helped mold me into who I am today are now both dead. I have one Grandmother still alive, although I am not that close with her and she lives many miles away.

But, all of this no longer matters. Whether we wanted to fill the grandparent void in our lives our not, it appears my husband and I now have 8-10 people at our church who have suddenly adopted us as their grandchildren.

It all started when we took a church foundations class to learn more and meet people. The church denomination I've followed since childhood seems to attract the over-60 crowd like bees to honey. Conversely, that means that the under 60 crowd is no crowd at all. In fact, before we had children, one of the reasons we did not attend church regularly was because we felt as if we were a freak show on display every time we made it to a service.

"Oh, Stan...look! It's the young people again! Aren't they lovely?"
"Yes, dear."
But, this class had a few couples in their 40s and 50s, so we had hoped that it would be different this time. And, the past few months have been quite wonderful, in terms of learning things we didn't know, making new friends, and feeling like we finally have a church home. But, the middle-aged couples have dwindled and stopped coming for the most part. And, so my husband and I have found our mid-thirties selves sitting in a room full of seniors.

It was only a few weeks ago that we began to see signs that we were attracting the old people again. It started with a few innocent comments in class.
"You really should try to do this-and-that with your kids."
"I don't know if I have ever told you, but you both remind us so much of ourselves at your age."
But, last night it was confirmed. The dear old people have officially adopted us as their own.

"You know, you young kids just don't realize it now. You won't until you're much older. God is really an important part of your life."
(Oh, really? Why then am I spending every Wed night and Sunday at church? Hello?)

"Now, listen, I am telling you that in twenty years your kids are going to remember that you did such a great thing and it will change their lives forever. Mark my words. You are their example. Don't forget that."

A handful more comments were dished out to us too. Anytime my husband or I went to answer a question, I felt the room turn and 8-10 sets of eyes beaming at us as if to say, "Awww...that's my boy" or "atta' girl...make your Paw-Paw proud now."

I am not complaining about this, so do not misunderstand. Having the support and love from these sweet people who three months ago were completely strangers is a nice phenomenon to experience really. But, it does feel a little bizarre too.

I had sent an email to the group, trying to organize a card and a small thank you gift for our teacher, who will no longer be teaching our class after this session and who I feel deserves a big thank you. Both before and after our class, one older woman approached me in the hallway and took my hand proudly.

"I just want to thank you for what you are doing for XYZ. It is such a lovely thought and you are wonderful for doing this. You should really feel proud."

I guess having 8-10 new grandparents isn't a bad thing really. They are all very sweet people who think highly of us and make us feel welcome. This is much better than a mob of grouchy old people trailing us to sunday school class each week, shouting, "come back here you whippersnappers!" We have people looking out for us and who want to see us suceed in life. And, hey, we might start getting the $10 checks on our birthdays again or free trips to Luby's for dinner.

But, I won't be surprised if the next time I'm sitting in church with an allergy attack, if 2-3 elderly women sneak in my pew and fight over who gets to roll up the Kleenex to stuff up my nose and who gives to give me a mint. I'm just sayin'....


Blogger Nicole said...

Oh my gosh. Are you an Episcopalian? I know exactly what you're talking about. At every church we've gone to we are always the spectacle, too (the only ones without blue hair). Then we switched to a non-denominational church and everyone was young, but my hubby didn't like it (they play electric guitars). So we've been trying to find a church that plays "screaming organ #1 and screaming organ #2, to his liking, so we're back to the blue haired crowd. At the last one we were at, the entire opening announcements were about who had cancer, alzheimers or had died. I wanted to run out the back door but then I started wondering if there may be a place for us there amongst the older peoples...your story has got me thinking again...

2:26 PM, May 18, 2006  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I can think of many worse things than having a few extra sets of grandparents. For one, they are hilarious. For two, they are incredibly wise. For three, well. They're just lovely kind of folks to have around. Lucky you!

3:31 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Nicole, I am laughing out loud. Yes, it's that church--the one and the same. Hilarious! We've had the same issue with contemporary services too. This is a traditional one.

Oh, and Jen...I was poking fun, but not in a bad way...or complaining. These are some really wonderful people and so we are very lucky!

3:48 PM, May 18, 2006  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I know you were! That's why I said a) they are hilarious. :-) I could read the sweetness between the lines.

7:09 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger Babs said...

aw, that's so sweet and actually, I'm a tad bit jealous! Years ago, my roommate and I were adopted by my landlady & her family in Boston... and it made a dramatic difference in our lives.

(btw, yay for you for finding a church community!)

7:39 PM, May 18, 2006  
Anonymous Theresa said...

How cool is that? Take advantage of it! It's nice to feel like you belong to a church community. :)

6:46 AM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Lazy Daisy said...'s all your fault. If you weren't so cute everyone wouldn't be fighting over you! I'd adopt you in a minute (oh, I already have!) Glad you are feeling better about your church community.

6:48 AM, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Angela said...

Too funny!! I had the same kind of experience as a child with my grandmother's contemporaries... I'd imagine it would be a little more bizarre as an adult though!

One thing I'll always remember though is that they would never hesitate to pull out their checkbooks when my sister and I would come around selling our tacky candy tins and wrapping paper for school. Buying crap that you'll probably never use--THAT is true love!

11:02 AM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

We seem to always be one of the few younger couples who show up weekly, as well. But, we are very quickly becoming the older couple!! hahaha!!! LOL!!!

7:46 PM, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous andrew said...

Luby's. LOL.

At least they have good mac 'n' cheese.

12:32 AM, May 20, 2006  
Blogger Belle-ah said...

How sweet!

2:21 PM, May 24, 2006  

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