Two important milestones just happened in my life, more specifically in the lives of my children, and it made me stop for a moment and think – getting old isn’t so bad after all.
My daughter, Lucy, graduated Siena Heights University in Adrian. She’s now looking to go on to law school. Meanwhile my son, Sam, turned 16 and got his driver’s license. Just as when they were kids, I still am one of their biggest cheerleaders and always will be.
These events made me stop and think about the fact these two were just babies what seems like just yesterday, and now they’re growing up (I guess it would be more appropriate to say they are grown up, especially in the case of my college grad).
It wasn’t that long ago, it seems, that I was changing their diapers, feeding them, playing on the playground with them and rejoicing in their first words and steps.
At first it seemed a little bittersweet, watching my kids reach adulthood. How much they’ve changed over the years, becoming more grown up, but as their parent I’m still able to sometimes see bits and pieces of who they were when they were little.
There are times when I’d just like to go back to the good old days when they were babies and everything was a fun adventure for us. Watching Lucy’s first dance recital when she was a toddler bouncing around on stage, or Sam playing outfield in Little League when he was more interested in picking the grass at his feet than watching for the ball.
Having faced death two years ago, prior to my lifesaving liver transplant, these milestones in my kids’ lives were a sign of age and they often made me feel old – happy for them – but old. Now, with a new outlook on life, I try to see it as one more opportunity to see my kids succeed.
Yes, they are growing up, but I rest easy knowing now this is how it is supposed to be. We are young once and have our lives, but then we create the future and we sit back and watch it grow around us.
I cherish the fact I am here to celebrate these events with them. Because really, its about them and their lives – not so much about us now.
Today, even though I’m well aware I’m getting older (as if the thinning, gray hair and unexplained aches and pains weren’t enough notice) I know that I’m still here to see my children through their successes and I’ll be there for them if they suffer a setback.
I look forward to seeing my grandchildren someday and I’m already picking out a name I think I should be called – I’m fond of papa, pappy or gramps. I’ve decided I’m looking forward to having little ones I can play with and spoil, then send home to their mom and dad.
Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?
Gary Gould is the managing editor of the View Newspapers. Contact him at 810-452- 2650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.