Growing up, I was the youngest of cousins on my mother’s side of the family, surrounded by elderly relatives on Dad’s side. While I’m the eldest of five siblings, I’ve often felt in deference to those with whom I associate, other than my children’s compatriots. Recently my husband acknowledged that amoung his co-workers, he’s now a senior staff member; he too grew up surrounded by those older than him, but no longer is that the case. With another grandchild now in our midst, I’ve been pondering that changing of the guard, and how stealthily it has sprung into our lives. Yes, there are days I feel my age, but in the back of my mind aren’t I still about twenty-four years old?
Um, no, ha ha ha. Recently I spent a day with my eldest and her family, a good chunk of it tucked between car seats as errands were run. Fortunately I’m still spry enough that slipping over an infant car seat base wasn’t an issue, plus I got to chatter with both nietas; Miss Em doesn’t mind traveling on freeways, although she fussed somewhat until we got up to speed. Little Miss had new green boots to discuss, her vocabulary becoming quite extensive. Around those wee ones I am contentedly in my abuela-element, but here’s where time gets wonky, because I also clearly recall being my daughter’s current age, mothering my own. That eldest will be thirty this year, jeez Louise! And next month hubby and I will celebrate three decades of wedding bliss. Perhaps these milestones are fueling such ponderings; how can it be possible that thirty years of my life has zoomed by for how young I still feel?
Maybe it’s all the rock ‘n roll I grew up listening to, and still enjoy, lol. Perhaps my earliest memories of being the youngest of so many truly shaped my perspective, or was it the deference shown ingraining in me such a deep respect of my elders that it’s now hard to accept finally being one of those elders, ahem. Not that I take myself so seriously, but other than my stepmom, my mother-in-law and my husband’s older siblings, I am the eldest within my sphere, good grief! All those elderly relations have passed on, I’m a grandma to a few, and…. And yes physically I’m not as young as I used to be, but it’s a strange notion to embrace, this manner of aging. Just as I seem to get my head around a particular aspect, the game alters.
Miss Em’s arrival has been wondrous, also thought-provoking, not merely for the addition of another to our clan. As a writer, I notice these changes maybe more than I would otherwise; it’s my job to observe human nature, which includes my own evolving humanity. I’m grateful to possess such a youthful heart, and certainly the nietos are a part of that. But it’s important for myself as well, and not only as an author; maintaining a humble and cheerful mood is necessary for my soul. Time might be speeding past, yet a part of me lives in an alternate place where years don’t matter. I never want to lose that ageless, ethereal sensation, not that I fear growing old, but I never wish to be separated from those who follow in my footsteps. How many questions did I not ask my elders for worry of reprisal? That’s just one example, but it certainly comes to mind now, as all those folks are out of my reach. And remembering Matthew 18: 2-4 is another key; Christ noted a child-like manner is essential. Good notions to ponder as a year of milestones continues….