Monday, October 6, 2008

You've Been Alive a Lot of Years!

Daniel: "Mommy, are you and Daddy going to be at mine and Timmy's weddings?"

Mommy: "Yes, we will. We'll even be part of your wedding party."

Daniel, later to Daddy: "Daddy, will you be at my wedding?"

Daddy: "If I'm still alive I will be."

Mommy, whispering to Daddy: "Honey! Shhh! Don't say things like that."

Daniel, later, during tuck in: "Daddy, why wouldn't you be alive at my wedding? How old are you now?"

Daddy: "Fifty."

Daniel: "Fifty! How did you even get to BE SO OLD? You've been alive a lot of years!"

(Keep in mind that my husband looks very young for his age, which somewhat explains Daniel's shock at hearing Daddy's age.)

At this point Mommy and Daddy both broke out in laughter. We giggled nonstop for several minutes, unable to calm ourselves. Timmy didn't really get it, but he knew it must have been funny, so he started laughing hysterically too. Somewhat offended, Daniel wanted us to stop. He thought we were making fun of him.

Boy, I'll tell you, getting old is no fun. We're both trying to do it gracefully by dwelling on it very little, all the while trying to be thankful for our hard-fought wisdom. But as older parents, when we see our aging skin next to our children's beautiful young skin, it's hard not to get a little nostalgic for our thirty-something faces. I think the next decade will be hard in this regard, for both of us. We can keep our bodies in shape, but skin is another story. We're powerless over that whole deterioration process, which didn't begin until Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Prior to that, it wasn't God's plan that people would ever age or have to work.

I think ultimately the process of losing our looks will force us to look outward all the more - to focus on what good we can do, outside of ourselves. Even glancing in the mirror will become unpleasant, so any self-involvement would have to naturally melt away, to be replaced by more depth, more wisdom, and hopefully more humor. It's a shame that wisdom and youth can't exist together, but like in everything else, we just have to trust that God knows what he's doing. He'll provide abundant grace as we weather our golden years.

I told Daniel that Daddy takes good care of himself and will be dancing up a storm at his sons' weddings. Nothing to worry about there. After all, Don's Dad is 86, and still going strong.

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