Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Developmental Milestones

My parents are beginning to age. Well, my dad turned 65 this week and my mom is 59, so, yes, they are "beginning" to age. But my dad still makes the occasional off-color joke accompanied by a little giggle, and my mom still feels uncomfortable in certain stores and around certain people. I wonder: do they still feel like kids sometimes, in the worst sense of that word? Do they still feel like they're not quite grown-up yet, like they're faking the whole maturity/responsibility thing?

I bet they do. I know I do.

There's a part of me that feels like I'm playing a game. Refinancing our house a couple of years ago down into a 15-year-mortgage felt like a move in a board game. (This was much like the feeling of obtaining a mortgage in the first place!) Parenting? Being responsible for two little children, one with special needs? HAH! Double hah!

Perhaps this is an artifact of growing up in the first real video game generation, but I sometimes feel like this is all for play, for practice, and there are unlimited do-overs and safety nets.

I'm thinking about all of this stuff tonight because Paul's grandmother is expected to die within the next few days. Death is always unexpected, even when it's expected. Death is always inconvenient. It's supposed to be. It's supposed to pull us away from our daily lives and shove the Big Picture into our view for a time. It's supposed to force us to stop and look around from time to time.

The big picture I see right now is that when Paul's grandmother dies, she'll be the last of our collective 8 grandparents to do so. And then our parents truly will be the oldest generation. We'll become the sandwich generation.

I'm not ready for my parents to be old.

And I'm quite OK with not being entirely grown-up yet.

But I can definitely do without the horrible angstyness of adolescence. I'm glad to have mostly left that far behind.


steph said...

Oh, it's not just me then? I very often feel like someone will show up and take away my grown-up card.
I'm sorry to hear about Paul's grandmother, and wish you and your family the calm and peace you deserve in the hard bits of life.

RobMonroe said...

I'm just plain confused about my role as my parents age. I still have two grandparents (one on each side) and one great-grandparent, but the same will not be true for Abby I'm sure. My mother's health and my father's ignorance are both factors in my saying that. As is normal in MY family, we're ignoring any talk of such future things. (I didn't know my mother had MS for three years after her diagnosis.)

Your parents have always seemed young for their age, to me. (realizing that I have only even met them like four times.)

D.A. Riser said...

That's a bummer about your fam's last grandmother. I definitely can relate, though. We're down to 2 grandmothers.

flatflo said...

One set of my grandparents died before I was born, and the other set was divorced and lived 700 and 2100 miles away. I saw grandma nearly every year for a week or two and grandpa every 3-5 years for a week. I was so envious of other kids that had grandparents nearby that were active in their lives. To have a great-grandma or grandpa alive I find just amazing.

Now my parents are the grandparents of my nieces and nephew and visit them every chance they get. I'm jealous!

Barrie said...

Sometimes I feel that someone will call me out. As in: What do you mean you're refinancing? You're like 15!" Not that I look 15, just that whole "Oh, am I really all grown-up feeling!"