A short essay on grandmas and orcas and evolutionary anthropology
Not shabby! My kid is 8 months old. Reading this makes me realize I've been able to canoe, see stand up comedy with my husband and do a little writing almost solely because of my mother-in-law. Thank god for grandmothers!
What a tender, moving article, Mandy. As a grandmother myself, I know the joy of spending time with my granddaughters, not even fully aware of the added benefit of giving their parents a much-needed break. Everyone wins.
I’ve considered this anthropological idea of grandmothers often. More than just the care they can offer (so long as they’re able-bodied which some of them are not) what may be more invaluable is that their presence, if you allow it to, can foster reflection on the generational differences that exist. I’ve found this self-examination to be fraught and even painful but necessary to me discovering the thing you’re seeking - a community or caretakers to share the blessing/burden of raising little people. Apart from the fun or freedom we might experience because of more hands on deck, the grandmas in my life have helped me better see and understand what values I’m seeking in a community. The emotional and mental support I’ve gained from my community has meant more to me and warded off more burnout than any number of hours of free babysitting.
I adore this article and thank you for sharing your beautiful writing! While I don't have kids myself, I have vivid memories of my maternal grandmother helping to raise us 4 sisters and providing enormous love and care which was such a steady and grounding foundation for our lives. Here's to the evolution of consciousness and the Rising of the Divine Feminine in recognizing and acknowledging how the most essential, vital, and life-giving work in the world - of caregiving - has gone unrecognized and under valued for the past 4,000 years while our cultures have been dominated by the patriarchy!!! And now at last we're coming back into a balance of yin and yang, the Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine, and growing awareness in our human species. Thank you for writing what you write!