My whole life, as a woman, has been awash in hormone awareness. Adolescent despair? Hormones. The stunning efficacy of new love affair crash diets? Hormones. The labile nights of new motherhood? Hormones.
Women, over the course of a lifetime, are tortured by, and tutored in, the intricate complexities of hormones and their inevitable imbalances. For those of us who didn’t tune in to science classes when we had a chance (too many distracting hormonal rages, and don’t even get me started on those math anxiety hormones), hormonal chemistry remains mysterious. Partly because it is.
Brain science is seriously not my thing. I still want to believe that love comes from the heart.
I am quite sure, though, that I had never heard of grandmother hormones. That’s partly because women’s magazines, which largely pick up from high school curriculums to keep us up to speed on science and health, are not exactly geared to anyone over the ripe old age of 40. Unless, of course, we get a Special Issue on Aging, but then science quickly gives way to home economics, featuring dressmaking and wardrobe organization. (Kind of like in high school.)
When we’re young, aging looks sort of crappy; frankly, even though it is extremely un-P.C. to say so, it looks sort of crappy when we get there, too. Hence, the magical thinking around skin creams.
But then I became a grandmother. Nothing compares to the experience of holding the weight of a newborn boy against an older, wiser, pounding heart, a heart burnished with the patina of age, a heart that bears the traces of fractures, the patchwork or plaster lathed over bad breaks. That heart suddenly, unexpectedly, floods with … hormones.
Hormones still rule. That is the only way I can explain the mysterious, intricate nature of my chaotic response to this new love.♥️