There are times when I really miss my mother, who died in 2007. She always served as a guide to help me navigate through life’s challenges, whether through advice or a well-timed comment that helped me see the lighter side of what I was going through. Now as I approach menopause, I wish Mom was here to explain to me what she experienced, to share her stories of this rite of passage, and to commiserate.
So I was pleased to have a friend share the story of a recent interaction with her mom about her lifechange. Having received her permission, I’d like to share my friend’s story:
All of our lives they have imparted their wisdom and sage advice. This came home to me just a few weeks ago. At 50, I thought that I knew everything there was to know about the birds and bees. Boy was I wrong. Once again, my mom has proved that she knows more than I ever will. Let me explain:
Recently, my husband and I went to visit Mom for an overnight stay. After dinner, we were sitting in the family room watching television. I don’t know if it was a hot flash or just a typical south Georgia early fall evening, but I innocently (I thought) asked that someone switch the flip and turn on the ceiling fan.
“Oh, is it that time for you?” asked the angelic mom. Ever the helpful one, my husband replied, “Oh boy, is it ever.” He would soon come to regret those words.
The next morning I was sleeping in. My husband was enjoying the morning paper and his coffee when he got the zinger, as only a mom can zing. Just as he was reading about the latest plans to zap the Taliban, he received his own zap. “You know,” said Mom, “menopause is the easiest time for a woman to get pregnant.” Out came the coffee that he was just about to swallow. There was a long pause, during which time he quickly calculated what it might be like to be coaching Little League while in his 60s and concluded that there was only one thing to say, “Did you hear that we were at war in Afghanistan?” Anything, anything at all to change the subject.
I was awakened with an urgent plea to please show my face in the kitchen and bring an end to the awkward conversation. At first, I found it all funny, but then I did start to think—after all these years, now that I’m menopausal, do I really need to worry about birth control? What if Mom is right?
My friend’s story is a reminder of the wisdom that is part of the female community. Besides providing a good giggle, this story also shows how those who have passed through this life change can become a guide to help the next generation (and the men in their life) negotiate this stage. My friend’s story has given me an idea – I think I’m going to “adopt” a mother to provide the wisdom to help me through this passage.
Published On: December 30, 2009