“You’re old, Dad.”
“I’m young, I’m 40.”
“No, you’re not. You’re very, very old.”
“40 is old?”
“Yeah, 40 is old!” My son glowered at me then pointed his finger right under my nose for emphasis.
The finger pointing wasn’t necessary. I got the point. I’m so old I have to chew apple sauce. I’d crack more jokes but I’m so old I can’t remember any. However, after seeing my wife’s grandmother pass away at 98, god rest her soul, am I really that old? If you think about it, when she was 40, she hadn’t even lived half her life. I’m feeling better about myself already.
Look at all the amazing things she saw during her life—the invention of the car, the TV, the microwave, the ATM, the artificial heart, and witnessing man landing on the moon (to name just a few). And in her personal life, she was mother to two, grandmother to seven, and attended the weddings of all of her grandchildren. Who knows what I’ll see in my lifetime?
To get some reassurance on how young and vibrant I really am, I sought out my daughter, who usually tells me what I want to hear when discussing age.
“Lexy, am I old?”
“No, Daddy. You’re not old.” She then kissed me on the cheek.
“I love you, Daddy.”
“I love you, too.”
“Can I go to Julia’s house for a play date?”
“Not today, honey.”
“I hate you!” She stormed out of the room crying.
“Wait, come back. Do you still think I’m young?”
She ran back in. “I’m tellIing Mommy.”
“That I’m young or that I’m old?”
That conversation didn’t go quite as planned. I decided to boost my ego on my own by working out and showing everyone that I still had it.
I dropped to the floor and pumped out 40 good pushups—so far, so good. I then did some crunches. I was in the zone. I grabbed my 20 pound dumbbells and started curling them with ease. Now, for the piece de resistance…the 45 pound dumbbell I worked out with back in my 20’s and early 30’s.
I stretched my back out for a moment and readied myself for the defining moment. I then grabbed the weight from the floor without any difficulty. I started to curl it and heard a pop in my shoulder. I’m unsure whether it was my ego being snapped back to reality or a real injury. Regardless, I put that weight down and slumped onto the couch.
A few minutes later, I approached my wife.
“Am I old, honey?”
“No, you’re not old….wait, is that a hair growing out of your ear? That’s disgusting, how old are you?”
She started poking and prodding at my ear. My daughter then entered the room and joined in on the fun.
“What is that, Daddy? Gross.” At least she wasn’t still mad about the play date.
My son then entered the room to see what the fuss was all about. Before my neighbors and a team of scientists started showing up, I decided to put an end to the sideshow attraction.
“Who wants to play Wii?” My daughter and son ran to the TV. I was going to beat the heck out of them at video games, clearly a young man’s game. I strolled into the living room re-energized and feeling a like a kid. I grabbed the Wii controller and my shoulder began to hurt again. I felt young again, sort of.
Copyright © 2009, Brad Manzo