I seem to be having some sort of existential crisis. I am feeling suddenly caught between my parents who are suddenly OLD and my kids who are suddenly TEENS. Here's the thing, maybe it's just that I can't believe that I'm getting older, and now I am having to constantly revise my definition of OLD.
Working in critical care I take care of sick adults of all ages. We do have some young ones, but primarily they are people who have lived full lives. So when do you start saying, 'What are we doing here?, this guy's had a long full life, why are we doing all these things to him?' The number used to be 70 for me, then with time marching on as it does my Dad turned 70 and he did not seem old in any way. 'Well', I thought, 'maybe 70 isn't that old after all.' Then I thought 80 might be the number, but now my Dad is 77 and my Mom will be 70 this year - What the heck?!
Last weekend when I worked most of my patients over my 4 days of work were in their mid to upper 80's, their children - older than me - seemed surprised at the frailty of their parents. I guess I finally get it. I'm lucky. My parents are healthy, independent and still together. The problem is most days, I still feel 25ish and so since I see myself and my parents moving along in this little time warp together that would make my dad 55 and my mom 48. Now do you get where I'm coming from? They can't possibly be 70 and 77! And what's up with my kids getting older? One of them driving now! College in 2 years! Help!!
So today while I was in the midst of my own personal mini meltdown, after my morning run, dropping off the 10 year old and getting groceries, before lunch duty at school, I saw my Dad's truck at the bagel place where he has coffee with his buddies after church.
I whipped into a parking spot with Shakira blasting and the dog hanging out the passenger window, ran in kissed my Dad and told him, 'I'm glad you're healthy, love you, it was a long weekend.'
Because frankly can you ever hug and kiss your parents enough? I don't want to be one of those people who are surprised when their parents are no longer on the top of their game, you know? And I bet for that moment, my Dad was 35 and I was 4 and it was just another kiss from his little girl, closely followed by the thought, 'How could the girl who just learned to ride her bike be 46?!'