By Jing Lejano

At 43, I never thought that I’ll be singing ABCs, reciting 123s, and wondering what all those twinkling stars are doing tonight. But here I am doing nursery whatnots 13 years after my youngest son was born.

I was already on teen mode.

I am way past the sleep-deprived mommy phase of the baby years when you can’t get four straight hours of sleep because your little one is hungry—again. Today, my kids would eat just about anything. And fortunately for me, they know their way around the kitchen. No need for mommy to get up early in the morning to make breakfast.

I am past all the angst and agony of separation anxiety when your preschooler grabs your knee every time you step out the door. Today, my kids are all too happy when I have to go out of town. If I’m gone for just two days in fact, they’d even ask, “Back so soon?” Those rascals!

I am past the stage where I worry about meeting development milestones, height averages, and weight standards. Today, my kids are healthy and strong. And my boys are all taller than me—which doesn’t mean I can’t raise my voice and stand my ground when they don’t come home on time or they don’t wash the dishes when it’s their turn.

And so, when I became a grandmother at 41, I had this very scary nightmare that I’d have to go through all those things again. I actually lost sleep thinking I might not get enough sleep—again.

I needn’t have worried. My daughter is a good mother, and she’s an even better daughter because she didn’t ask her mother to do the mothering for her.

What I like best about being a Lula at 43 is that I get to do the fun part of mothering. Sophie and I eat ice cream, sing with Barney, and dance to Sheryl Crow. In the mornings, she greets me with a big fat kiss. In the afternoons, we cuddle up on the couch, watching Mickey Mouse. In the evenings, we play ball under the moonlight. I have so many other things that I want to do with her, so many things I want to teach her. I can’t wait!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash