Then, we have the humans. Our post-menopausal females can live just as long past menopause as they did before menopause. Some scientists might argue that humans never have and were never meant to live beyond their reproductive years, and that post-menopausal life is a relatively new phenomenon in modern humans. Evolutionists might say that those women with a longevity trait were able to help their offspring take care of their offspring, thus increasing their grandchildren's survival rate and the post-menopausal woman's own fitness, and passing on the longevity trait to more people generation after generation until the grandmother eventually evolved. And yet others might say grandmas didn't evolve, grandmas were created.
All I know is, as a stay at home mom, I see grandmas everywhere! I see grandmas at the store pushing shopping carts with babies inside. I see grandmas waiting to get their grandchildren after school. I see grandmas take grandchildren to dance and other sporting events. I see grandmas driving with grandchildren in car seats behind them. I see grandmas eating out with grandchildren. I see grandmas on walks with grandchildren. I see grandmas taking grandchildren to the doctor. Grandmas sure are active people.
Grandmas travel across continents to help their children paint their house or take care of babies.
Grandmas run your errands for you.
Grandmas travel through all sorts of weather at all hours of the night because the mothers are sick or are having a bad day or mothers have to go to the hospital because their water broke (or thought their water broke, but they really just maybe might have wet themselves, a little).
Grandmas use their retirement money to send care packages to grandchildren that live far away.
Grandmas cook impromptu meals, just because you say you are coming over, and you're starving.
Grandmas let you leave their house with their leftovers, even though they were hoping to not have to cook the next day.
Grandmas take care of you, even when they are sick and no one is taking care of them.
Grandmas sacrifice vacation time to take care of their grandkids while their own kids go on vacation.
Grandmas sacrifice their comfort and lifestyle and sometimes their retirement to take in their wayward children's children.
And I bet if you ask any grandma why she does these things, the last thing that crosses her mind is to increase her own fitness. The first things that cross her mind, however, would be how she feels when she receives chubby hugs and messy kisses and hears tiny voices over the phone that say, "I wub you, Damma!"
If you know a grandma, show your appreciation. She's technically not even supposed to be here :) Sure, they are post-menopausal and can be a little moody at times, but we are lucky enough to be the only species that gets them, so we need to just love them, because they truly are a gift from God.
(To the grandmas in my life: Yes, this is my special way of saying "Thank you!")