“Grandma’s are bumpy.” My second oldest granddaughter said that to me one day when she asked me about a bump on my arm. (Out of the mouths of babes) This was a “new” bump. I wasn’t too concerned about it but I thought I should have it checked out by the dermatologist. My doctor agreed. After a forty-five minute drive and an hour or more later, two bumps were no longer there. “We will do a biopsy, just to make sure.” No one wants to hear those words. Waiting for the results felt like an eternity.
A week later, I received the results. Both were benign. One mole and—an age spot. WHAT? An age spot? The innocent declaration of my granddaughter echoed, “Grandma’s are bumpy.” My birthday and my doctor tell me I’m getting older. I don’t need an identified age spot to scream a reminder of that news.
I grumbled to my husband about my twelve-year old dermatologist telling me I had “age spots,” and my dear husband cheerily told me that he has them too. This saint of a man shared more wisdom with me, “We’re both getting older and besides, aging is better than the alternative.” I agreed but I swear the age spot sneered at me, “Happy Birthday bumpy Grandma!”
I needed a re-frame. I wanted credit for my age spots. I told my husband I was forever more going to refer to my age spots as “stars on my age chart.” Just like my granddaughter, I am collecting stars for achievement. Yep. Stars on my Age chart. That is my re-frame! Now when my third oldest granddaughter inevitably asks, “What are those spots and bumps, Grandma?” I’m going to wink and give her a big hug and say, “Those are stars for all of my achievements over the years.”