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  • Grandmothers and grandfathers

    It is no exaggeration to say that our age has increased enormously and thereby exalted two periods in a person's life: childhood and old age.

    People have long underestimated the importance of childhood for the subsequent development of personality. And old age was considered only as a result of life. And so these two periods were not spoiled by special attention of researchers. And there was no one to study. Life expectancy in pre-revolutionary Russia was very low: the average life expectancy of men hardly exceeded 30 years, women lived two or three years longer.

    This, of course, did not mean that all residents of the country were dying young or in mature years. The figures of the life expectancy of the population are extracted from the statistics that record all births and deaths. So, the average number will be less, the higher the mortality rate not only in the mature years, but also in the children. In pre-revolutionary Russia, infant mortality was very high. Because the average life expectancy was depressingly low and the old people in the house were the exception rather than the rule. From excessive work and poor living conditions peasants, workers, artisans early descended into the grave from all kinds of famine and famine. They did not live up to old age and their antipodes - just because of the excesses, debauchery of morals and lifestyle, which destroys health.

    Today the number of elderly people grows faster even than the number of newborns. It is no accident that demographic scientists talk about the aging of the population of our country. In 1939, the USSR had less than 7% of residents older than 60 years. In 1970, they already became about 12%.Demographers predict that by the beginning of the next century this figure will grow to 17%.

    Increasing the proportion of older people raises problems that did not exist in the old days: society needs to find out and strengthen the place and importance of pensioners in public and family life, support their health, organize activities, rest and meaningful communication.

    Many modern researchers consider the peak of life and work activity of a person to be 40-45 years old. For fifty, as a rule, the recession begins. And that's what is remarkable: while it seems that the stages of the formation of the human personality are repeated in an inverted form.

    At the top, at the peak of years - a sharp surge of all the forces and abilities, comes "second youth".Both the man and the woman seem to blossom again. This is a proven fact: in almost all areas of social work leading experts, heads of collectives are people whose whiskey thickly powdered gray. In the presidiums of meetings, conferences, in premium lists, they are above all.

    Get accustomed to the current traveling and traveling, to the visitors of museums, philharmonic societies, festivals - a considerable share here is also quite solid audience. And look back at the inveterate gardeners, amateur craftsmen, needlewomen and home inventors, club members, studios. .. Sometimes it remains only marvel: how did they manage to retain strength, curiosity, enthusiasm, greed for anything unusual?

    Explanation can be found in their very family-social situation: the social situation is quite strong, the most pressing domestic problems are resolved( earnings, housing, etc.), the children become adults, lifted the burden of care from the shoulders of the parents. Well, live and rejoice, realize all the aspirations and interests, which in former times did not have enough time or money, physical and material. A happy time. .. for those who on the way to her have not lost their spiritual energy and have not squandered it in pursuit of imaginary values ​​and pleasures.

    Then comes the time of a gradual decline in vital activity. Many return to the "teenage" time of deep comprehension of the purpose of man in life, only with the "reverse perspective" - ​​with a glance not in the future, but in the past.

    Some dramatically experience this time. More and more things and pleasures about which it is necessary to speak: it is not for me. Again, as in adolescence, scissors increase between "I can" and "I want": teens can not yet accomplish much of what they want, and an aging person can no longer realize many desires.

    And again, as in the old years, the obvious changes in appearance are not for the better. With the only difference is that in adolescents these changes are temporary, and for an old man - forever. With fear he peers( she) in a mirror that is cruel in its truthfulness. The teenager observes the pimples that are disfiguring his face and all the pigment spots, the old people are wrinkles, lethargy and skin stiffness, and the turbid eye color.

    It is especially difficult for women to experience these changes.

    Whose this unfamiliar face looks at her from the mirror? Who is this woman? How should she behave: how to dress, comb, move, talk? Dont clear. The crisis of the genre.

    Hot flushes of blood to the head, palpitations, shortness of breath, increased nervousness and tearfulness( especially in women) - these are external manifestations of this condition. Sometimes it turns into a serious health disorder. And if teenage agony lasts 2-3 years, menopause( as doctors call this state of the body aging), some women are delayed by 5-8, and even 10 years.

    And here I want to say about the attitude of others towards "transitional age".If the adults understand and experience the experiences of the young soul and the flour of the burgeoning body - they remember themselves at this age, then the young people usually do not know about the age characteristics of the elderly, because they do not sympathize. Sometimes it is believed that just "old people" spoils the character.

    Like any age, old age causes different emotions. You remember how the young Gogol wrote about her in the poem Dead Souls: "... everything can happen to a person. The present fiery youth would have jumped back with horror if they showed him his portrait in old age. .. "And so on, to all the well-known words about the terrible ruthlessness of old age, which, according to the young writer, is worse than death itself.

    But now read it, think about the testimony of a man who lived to this age, who knew about old age not by external and premature judgments. The writer Veresaev, who was mentioned many times in our conversations, had a completely different opinion on this matter: "We all grow in contempt for old age and in horror before it. But if I then knew, - but who knows it in his youth?- if I myself then knew what kind of fearful, joyous and blissful this awful old age can be!. .

    I remember the crumpled anxiety of youth, the aching torments of self-esteem, violently swelling in the soul painful growths, dark raging, degrading the body of passion,dizzying questions, misunderstanding of oneself, inability to come to life. ..

    And now the soul is shielded by some strong shield, its external troubles, insults, blows to self-esteem are not too easily wounded, in hands like a reliable compass;the surrounding thickets are not terrible;the spiritual eyes became brighter than the eyes, in the soul - clarity, firmness and gratitude to life.

    . .. Yes, maybe if I knew the youth, what is possible illuminated, raising old age spirit - maybe she would less easily carelessly "burned" herself. .. Rush all the forces - and then come to the old-fashioned old age, spitting,gasping, with a squeamishly dangling lip and a dark face. And to say youth: "Old age is a terrible, accursed time of human life."

    Similar judgments can be found among many wise elders who have entered this long, much longer period than youth, part of life, without having squandered the wealth granted by nature and cultivated by education: the body, the mind, the heart of man.

    They say: youth is retribution. Perhaps about a good old age you can say: she is a reward for honestly, reasonably and heartily lived years.

    Another proposition is justified: "A man is as old as he feels himself."And old age is not age, but health: physical, intellectual and emotional. And already your own experience will tell you: who among your closest associates can be referred to young people, despite the long and difficult biography behind them, and whom to the elderly who are waiting for pensions, although they have not bent the back on the public field and brought nothing worthwhile on it. There are, among your contemporaries, young elders: it seems that everyone who has experienced everything, who knows and is tired of the knowledge, disappointed in life, grumbling at its imperfection. They are up to the "mud-eyed" decrepitude of oh-oh how much to go, but they already have a skeptic eye and are reluctant to look at the white light. That's what you need to regret!

    But this is some distraction from the main topic of this conversation.

    Modern young people recklessly refer to their parents as old people and consider that they have already exhausted themselves, obsolete all desires and interests, except for one thing: how to better organize their offspring, nurture and agukat grandchildren. Many newlyweds do not want to delve into the fact that they turn grandfathers and grandmothers into people whom both society and nature have not been written off as workers or as men and women.

    Many conflicts arise in newly formed families precisely because of a lack of understanding of the state of "old people", the peculiarities of their age psychology.

    - Grandmother , why are you dancing? Grandmothers do not dance!- the granddaughter shamed her forty-five-year-old grandmother, who looked quite young, attractive woman and, indeed, forgetting her "rank", famously danced a new-fangled dance at a family celebration.

    - Look, our old people are there, they started singing about love!- the young spouses are sarcastic, seeing in acute sensitivity, in coquetry of grandmothers and in the chivalry of grandfathers almost oblivion of moral norms of behavior of elderly people, something indecent.

    What are they drawn to the captious and jealous gaze of the current young and already grown-up children, modern grandmothers and grandfathers, and what are they really?

    According to folk tales, the grandmother is an Old Testament old woman, quiet and tireless, like a mouse poking around the house, catering to everything and does not require anything in return, the masteress of cooking and weaving, sewing and knitting, a skilful narrator of bygone and unprecedented tales, a writer of affectionate lullabies, assistance to children and joy to their grandchildren, good conscience and the light of the house. And grandfather - by itself - omniscience, a gray beard, an eye with a cunning squint, also an irrepressible craftsman and a house philosopher.

    However, such ideal faces and in the past are not at every step met. Live nature and characters are always more complex than idealized representations. Even such dearly loved as the grandmother of Alyosha Peshkova was, does not look much like an icon-painting face. And grandfather Kashirin - just an evil gnome. Apparently, the historical experience of the people's life has selected all the most important things that are necessary for better performance of these roles when creating fairy-tale characters.

    I want to pay attention to one linguistic feature. In English, French, German there is no word, similar to ours, - "grandmother".There it is called "big mom", ie, its function is indicated, its dominant position in the family. As you can see, in this definition there is no emotional coloring, an attitude towards the one that is the mother of mom and dad.

    Russian word with a diminutive suffix "ushk" seems to, on the contrary, diminishing the scale of its shape and significance, simultaneously raises it to the pedestal of love. It is no accident that in the dictionary of Dahl this word has 12 variations, the same cozily-affectionate, and only one - "grandmother" - angular-rough.

    Why is this? It is known that the language reflects the established practice of relations. And all of our traveling and wandering celebrate an unusual for us feature of European and American life: detachment of the older generation from adult children and grandchildren.

    True, and we have recently appeared women who are not in a hurry to put on a grandmother's cap and are even embarrassed by this title. Look back at their age and well-being in life - and everything will become clear. Grandmothers become and in 28 years( such cases are registered), and in 35-40, and further up to a record time of terrestrial existence. Therefore, the same is true of the words that the modern grandmother nothing female is alien, including love experiences, the desire to have fun, dress up. It is also true that it may be characterized by age, senile shortcomings. Both judgments are legitimate, but only with the precise reservation that they belong to different categories of grandmothers.

    The average life expectancy of current women is at around 75 years. This means that, having become grandmothers, they often remain daughters, daughter-in-law of elderly parents. Who has not experienced this, does not understand how such a fact affects a woman's well-being. While there are people in the world that call you "daughter", you're still young, you still have everything ahead!

    . No matter how many generations you follow. And for any woman, her inner, psychological state is reflected in a decisive way on the physiology, on the exterior.

    Very often, young grandmothers look like older sisters of their adult daughters. And the figures are sporty, fit, and on the face cosmetics, and clothing is no different from the youth. And this is understandable: grandmothers often work together with young people, and no one discounts to "age", to their solid position.

    And about the grandfathers and say nothing. They both before, and even more so now do not want to yield to youth.

    . . The main divide, which determines the types of grandparents, passes between working and retired people. This is often even more important than age differences. With all the brilliant external entourage, the situation of working "old people" is more difficult, perhaps the most stressful, than that of other members of the family. I would call this time a misery. In the field of life the same order and regime operates as on land plowed land. In the springtime: plowing and sowing, the beginning of the main affairs and relationships, a cheerful, carefree time. In the summer they plant seed, rejoice in strength, warmth, light of feelings, believe that this riot of colors and juices will have no limit. Autumn mixes everything: joy and fear, pride and despair, the colors are hot, the beauty is somehow provocative. One word: a turning point. Here it is - the desired harvest, to clean it is gratifying and sad, and sometimes - vysadno.

    Look. Parents by this date, as we have already said, reach the peak of professional skill. Accordingly, the highest earnings in the family often come from them. Hence, when a small creature appears in the house that requires care and care, a young mother often does not even start talking about grandmother staying with her granddaughter or grandson at home, and she will go to work. This is not justified by common interests. And the monetary losses will be big, both business and prestigious. And finally, the older mother needs to earn a pension, to ensure the existence for a long time, when she sits at home.

    So often young moms are sewing and knitting, telling tales and scurrying around the house. And many grandmothers do not have time to do this.

    True, a large part of grandparents lives and acts just within the framework of traditional rules. They have over the years the house takes up most of the time and effort. From work they do not know any other way, except for their grandchildren to school, to a kindergarten or nursery, to a skating rink or to a zoo. And there is no other entertainment at home, except sitting at the TV, in whose programs they are primarily looking for "baby" programs.

    Is it possible to consider such a way of life flawed? Hardly;to each his own. Simply our time provides the opportunity to choose behavior, not imposing strict standards and mandatory.

    A lot of family responsibilities are imposed on the professional rush of working grandparents, also peculiar only this time. Suddenly, recently, such vigorous, independent and active parents, those whom they too could call "old men," thereby separating themselves from the people of this rank, are sharply growing old. What is the care for chronic patients, infirm old people, to explain painfully and can not be said. Whoever has not experienced the slow decline of an expensive person, all the problems of visiting hospitals, and the combination of these concerns with the service, will not understand what falls first of all on the shoulders of daughters.

    Diseases of the elderly, especially their death, long and agonizingly experienced by aging children. Perhaps more difficult than losing in youth. Youth does not know, does not feel the scale of losses, it distracts from distraction and entertains the prospect of a long life. And then there is a consciousness that by leaving, parents have removed the barrier that protects you from the gaping abyss of non-existence. And you are left alone with what they did not have to think behind their backs. ..

    The parents of the current young grandmothers go to the eternal place, leaving their graying children with the question: what are all these visible signs of prosperity, ranks and names, houses, apartments, things, money? Will they be material, material evidence of their earthly existence, more important than children and grandchildren?

    But not only the old people go out of life. Often, and 45-year-old grandmothers break their health, leave us, and not having time to grow old. And yet you rarely hear calls: "Take care of a young working grandmother! She is a very useful member of the society! "On the contrary, demands are heard from all directions addressed specifically to her."Take care of men!" - this is addressed to her by demographers and doctors, because the peak of male mortality falls on young grandfathers."Take care of a young family! It can fall apart without the help of elders! "- and this is for her. She plays a major role in the family, as a mother, as a mother-in-law and mother-in-law. And, finally: "Take care of your grandchildren! They are your continuation, your immortality! "All right, all right. Who, if not her, take care of everyone, take care of everyone. This is the time of her highest self-giving. But in the suffering, as you know, one with all the work can not be managed. There is support, there is reciprocity - the forces are multiplying, no - the desire to go anywhere is extinguished. On the contrary, fatigue is accumulated and the need for a well-deserved rest, quiet pleasures. That's when you need a good help and a husband( grandfather), and children, and other relatives - all to whom it is dear.

    I intentionally pushed aside the conversation about my grandmother's relationship with her grandchildren, so that it was clear: even before the happy moment when she was bending over to the headboard of a baby crib, grandmother was already out of breath, fulfilling many other duties and roles.

    In his death letter, S. A. Tolstaya addresses with words of love and farewell to all relatives and friends. But especially sensitive lines are attributed to her granddaughter, Tanya Sukhotina: "I am very special to you, my dear, dearly beloved, dear granddaughter Tanyushka. You made my life especially joyful and happy. Farewell, my darling! Be happy, thank you for your love and affection. Do not forget your grandmother, S. Tolstoy. "

    People say: they love grandchildren more than their own children. I do not know if it's more, but in a different way. More meaningful, more unselfish and more focused. In old age a person has time and a desire to peer into a small creature, listen to his babbling, revealing much that in the hustle and bustle of everyday work filled, it was missed, not noticed in their own children. Namely, the interest of the adult is built and the reciprocal interest, confidence, openness of the child is built, who knows very well who cares about his concerns, his experiences, and who does not.

    This cordial trustfulness of kids is especially important when own grown children have closed their souls for mother and father, reducing all communication to a set of ritual words and signs of respect.

    A sharp feeling for grandchildren is often experienced by grandmothers and grandfathers who have not satiated their parents' desires with a single child. They do not have one grandchild or granddaughter. They pray to young people to give them the opportunity to babysit, raise babies. However, they increasingly hear a strong refusal: they are being blamed on their own example. The reproach is just. And the parent will not prove to his young heads his belated remorse, the fear for their own well-being with a single child.

    The degree of proximity of the old and the small is often directly proportional to the difference in age. The further on the scale of life they are separated from each other, the closer the connection. Maybe because the child has all the joys and sorrows of the most simple and natural impressions of life, and the old people too. And those and others are happy with the sun and snow, green grass punching the asphalt.

    Another thing is the attitude of grandchildren who have entered into the flowering of forces, to losing their last strength to the old man. There may be alienation, discord, and mutual irritation. Starikovskie infinite "why?", "Why?" Have nothing to do with childish naive questions. The child asks to know, the "ancestor", to reproach, and even to condemn. In this very question, why do you do this, you say, you dress, there is an obvious subtext: "Why do not you love what I like? So you prefer the other, and the other is bad. "

    Extensive explanations often lead to nothing: they say two different generations, two different epochs. Attempts to avoid answers are regarded as an insult. Gradually, a tender mutual understanding is lost. It is good, if sympathy and care for the health and well-being of both parties remain. Often, and this does not remain.

    Now less and less old people are the main advisors for grandchildren. Young people sometimes know as much as grandmother, and grandfather, too, and do not get the idea. There are grandsons with other advisers on all vital issues, possessing a wider erudition and absolute authority: writers, thinkers, finally, newspapers, magazines, television - all this mighty arsenal of enlightenment, which accumulates the universal experience. But apart from general information and judgments, any of us are interested in the experience accumulated by our own family. In the last novel by Chingiz Aitmatov "And the day lasts for more than a century", a person deprived of an ancestral memory turns into a weak-willed slave-mankurt. And some of the current young people who are not interested in the living history of the family, the emotional experiences of the elderly, doom themselves to this share of unrequited mankurt.

    Many modern writers in honor are the old women, the keepers of family traditions, poetry and morals. Especially they succeeded Valentin Rasputin in the stories "The Last Duration" and "Farewell to Matyora" and to Viktor Astafyev in "The Last Bow".But you have to be able to see and listen with your heart to see their moral wealth. Alas, not all of us are given this, but everyone needs to strive for that.

    Finally, the old people, like the children, do not let the heat of gratitude in the souls of people, support the ability to self-sacrifice, cultivate condescension and tolerance.

    Becoming weak as children, the elderly retain their claims to a decisive opinion and authority in the affairs of the family. This is - initially a conflict situation. But many benevolent and sensible people come out of it with dignity.

    Less and less under one roof there live representatives of three, especially four generations. And in cities and villages, in working families and among the intelligentsia, in many-and many-child clans, the tendency is general: to live apart. You can regret, sigh, but, apparently, there is a reason in this attitude: the young family craves, like air, independence. And the state is going to meet it, having set a task - to provide each family with separate housing.

    But the more distance separating the elderly from the young, the weaker the kinship ties. Already checked by time and proven by research: communication of grandparents with grandchildren in large cities largely depends on the residence of both. If the road takes an hour or more, then we can say with confidence that all the load in communication will fall on the phone. It will be possible to see relatives only on weekends and solemn days or on days of common misfortune.

    Many families are trying to overcome this "band of alienation", moving closer to each other. This is now revered for the optimal variant of relations between relatives: to live side by side, but not together. Leningrad architects are conducting experimental construction of houses for families who want to live in close neighborhood, but again an independent economy. So, for example, apartments with two kitchens and common areas( for the older and younger generations) are being built. In short, people are looking for a reasonable solution to the difficulties that have arisen.

    The elixir of life for any normal person at any age is the consciousness of one's need for close people, the opportunity to love and be loved. If the old man has such a consciousness and feeling, one can consider that the fate of him is good, even if the strength and health are exhausted, if not every day and hour he sees around himself the native faces and another's hand gives him medicine.