Not too long ago the years didn’t matter much. We watched the children grow up and leave. Then we watched the grandchildren arrive one by one. Then we began to see our older relatives and some older friends leave this old world. Somehow it didn’t seem we fit the old age picture just yet.
Now we drive down the highway and excuse the silly driving of someone by noticing that it is a grandma or grandpa driving. Well, guess what! Who do we think is driving our truck or car? Some proud grandparents we are! But we are still not quite old, just older. We aren’t some silly teenagers or one of those soccer moms or baseball park pops. But when did the distance to the back of the stores get so long?
Don’t we still hold the door open for older folks or ladies with two children in tow? Oh, but that young man held the door for me today and smiled. Somehow I don’t think he was flirting. Sigh.
Just when did we get old? Was some moment set there to unfold just at the right time to tell us that we couldn’t claim youth as an excuse any longer? And how are we supposed to continue to do the things “normal” people do if we suddenly find ourselves older, weaker, slower, and otherwise easily befuddled?
No, old age is definitely not for sissies. We have to earn those grey hairs with courage and persistence. Like learning to walk as a child, getting older takes a certain kind of practice to develop that delicate balance between proud independence and common sense. But at least we can still drive!