Reflections on My Eldest Child Turning Forty

Dear Liza,

Your Daddy David was born forty years ago this week. I was just twenty four and had been married to your Grandpa Nelson for six years. We were out of college and ready to start our adult lives.

Posing at adults….

Well, we thought we were. We had moved from Southern California where we knew hundreds of folks to Eugene, Oregon, where we knew no one. Parenthood, we said, was the most natural thing in the world.

How hard could it be?

Things got real…

When your great grandma Billie offered to come up and help, I thought she was being a little silly. “You’ll be busy taking care of the baby,” she said. “I’ll take care of you.” Take care of me? What was she taking about?

But, as she so often was, Momma was right. I nursed Baby David, Momma cooked three meals a day. Plus giant snacks to feed my nursing body. I changed Baby David, Momma did the laundry. She made sure there was enough in ME to care for HIM.

And in the two weeks she was with us, I went from helpless noodle to almost-capable new mother. We were so busy, there aren’t many pictures from that visit. But I learned a lot.

I learned how much I didn’t know about mothering, life, and my own strengths. But mostly I learned that motherhood (and life) isn’t a skill you learn…. it is a thing you grown into, step by step. Sometimes those steps are backwards, but that’s okay, too. I learned that all you can do will somehow be enough.

David marries Olga, with two generations of mothers in attendance

And, with that baby being 40 and me being 64, I am still learning. And I get to watch my son learn those same lessons. Taking steps forward, realizing there is more to learn, learning that you will be enough.

David, well on the road


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

4 thoughts on “Reflections on My Eldest Child Turning Forty”

  1. I cannot smile any bigger at the last picture… what a great memory… and hey… who is that person on the left of you (your right) in the 1st picture? She sure looks familiar…



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