Being Grandpa....or A.K.A. You're Getting Old, Rob
I guess this is what mid-life crisis is all about, realizing you are getting old, and am, as my five-year old granddaughter put it to me last year on our fishing outing, “old and going to die soon”.
Well, I hope 47 is not that old - since I am already here - but people begin knocking off at this age from all sorts of things. I remember when I was 17 years old, and never thought I could live to be this old, this decrepit or whatever. Now I am on the doorstep of all that and finding it is everything I didn’t want after all. I used to make fun of my mom for becoming “antique” when she turned fifty, I am not far off myself now.
The first indication came when I was about 40 and the AARP – American Association of Retired People – began chasing me down for membership. Thinking they had confused me with my father, I laughed it off. They even tracked me down at work to send messages. Seven years later, they have not gone away and their propaganda gets more acceptable as I creep closer to their acknowledgment of the end of my life.
It is great to be a grandfather this young, to be able to still run and play with energy, but how long is it going to last? Riding the little rubber bouncing horse of my granddaughters makes my knees stiff, my hands ache after a lot of typing or writing, my wrist is sore after “flying” the girls around the house. My wife says she seems to wake up with a new ache or pain every day. It does seem that way.
In fact I married a bellwether of sorts, since my wife is 13 months my elder, I figure she gives me glimpse of what is coming for me.
In order to prove that age wasn’t getting the best of me, I started playing floor hockey with those 20 something aged kids on my dart partner’s sons’ team. Other than not being able to breathe the first couple of weeks, I was doing okay. Yeah I lost a step, okay several steps, but compensated with smart play and a few extra hits to slow the kids down.
Of course, my bones aren’t what they used to be either it seems, so those hits affected me more the next day than those kids.
I don’t think science will advance faster than my age to keep me living and going as strong as the twenty years olds’, but will hopefully help to keep me around longer.
I guess being grandpa was the biggest realization of my age. I love it, but have found it is now my turn. It is my turn, to be a special someone that can foster and nourish the little someone’s and be like my own grandfather. It was my grandfather that sparked my interest in science, weather, fishing, astronomy and more. I strive to pass on those special moments with my own grandchildren now.
My grandfather was older than I am now, he was the more traditional 60’s aged grandpa, and I can’t recall him ever running around, or that I cared. He was always there to toss a ball with me, pitch to me, hitting balls to me, flying kites and more. I don’t know if he cared either, that he couldn’t do those things. It was more the time he spent with me and the knowledge and fun he imparted on me that has lasted a lifetime.
It has actually lasted more than a lifetime, generations to be exact. I strive to be as good as or better than the high example set by my grandfather, which will hopefully be an influence on my grandchildren for the rest of their lives too. I am sure he is proud that his influence carries on.
Truthfully I have fared pretty well, better than I would have expected, and better than most people my age. I am healthy, good weight, low cholesterol, take no meds except for the allergy pills and can still get out and run with the kids.
It has just come down to acceptance, realizing who I really am – or actually how old I am. Maybe I am not ready to do that just yet, some kids grow up slow. I want to grow old slow.