I am one of 28 first cousins on my paternal side. (Yes, I said 28.) Of these two dozen-plus people, I am the oldest.
My father is one of ten siblings. He had five children—I am the first-born.
On my mother’s side, from four siblings, there are six surviving first cousins. And you know what? I am the eldest.
Also on my maternal line, I am the senior second cousin. (So you see what I am getting at here?)
My siblings (bless their little hearts) revel in reminding me of my age. (Yep, I got it: I am the old one. Nuff said…)
Lately, this insatiable need to acknowledge my ancientness seems to be afflicting my extended family, as well. At a recent family event, one of my much younger cousins informed me that I am the matriarch of our generation. Matriarch? (Where are my orthopedic shoes and support hose?)
At first, I was taken aback to be dubbed a matriarch. (Really, I’m not THAT old, am I?) But then, I really started to think about it. And the more I thought about it, the more I will admit that my younger cousin might, just might, be onto something.
It is true: I am the eldest of our generation. It is also correct that I am the current keeper of the family’s history.
Considering that a matriarch is defined as: “A mother, an older woman who is respected or venerated within a family, the female leader in the family”, being a matriarch doesn’t sound too bad. In fact, it sounds sort of like a compliment. (Although, I still don’t like the “older” part…not at all.)
So, for now, I think I’ll just be a matriarch-in-training. How does that sound? Many, many moons from now, I promise that I will embrace my matriarchal persona. (Bring on the gray hair and laugh lines…. well, maybe NOT!) Until then, I will just keep calm, and matriarch on.
Originally published on 13 February 2016, Matriarchal Me