Circle of Life
by Peary Perry
it just me or do the young folks of today seem to be starting their
families a lot later in life? I was married at twenty-one and we had
our first child a couple of years later.
Looks to me as if families are getting started when the parents are
in their late thirties or even their forties. My oldest son and his
wife have been married for sixteen years and are starting off with
their first child as of next March. Since he is forty, this means
he’ll be close to my current age when his kid gets into college. I
cannot imagine having a newborn at forty. T-ball and Little League
at fifty? High school proms and driving lessons at close to sixty?
That’s if this one is boy. If it’s a girl, then he has to put up with
the rigors of who she dates when he gets to my current age. Not something
I’d want to do. My heart would give out. Babies are a lot of work
and require youth, stamina and lots of patience and determination.
These are not traits generally found in older folks. We’ve been there
and done that and most of us don’t want to do it again. We don’t need
no stinking tee shirt.
My wife and I are looking forward to a new grandchild. You get all
of the good and none of the bad and then can send them home after
you’ve spoiled them rotten. You are spared the terrors of homework
and peer pressure but allowed to have the joys of seeing these little
humans grow up and become stars in your universe. My son and daughter
in law think their lives are not really going to change that much
after the baby is born.
Do I have news for them.
Think back to the days before you had kids, no better than that look
at all of the movies having love stories located in Paris or Rome….
do they have little kids in them? Not hardly. You couldn’t carry that
much stuff around with you. You’d need a truck or minivan… which is
why I suppose we see so many of them out on the road today. For kids
these days, you need strollers, diaper bags, bottle warmers, thousands
of diapers, car seats, things for them to sit in when you are in some
restaurant, clothing changes, toys, bottles…. and lord knows what
else that I’ve forgotten. When we had our babies, you needed some
diapers and a bottle…. not much else. Life was somewhat easier.
My youngest son just bought a puppy…first one he’s ever had of his
own as an adult. Ask him if responsibility has changed his life. He
is gaining a greater respect for my wife and I each day that passes.
He says his life is now in three-hour segments. The dog is really
calm and very good despite being so young, but she needs to be fed,
walked and fooled with nearly every hour of the day. We have broken
down and taken her off his hands on a couple of occasions just to
give him a break. His eyes thank us for this. We tell him that dogs
are easier than kids since you can put them in the kennel from time
to time and go off on a trip…. you can’t do that with your kids, the
vet won’t take them.
Kids are a challenge for anyone. Just ask someone who has had some.
Just because they grow up doesn’t mean they go away. Not that you’d
want them to do so even if you had the choice. No, my kids will do
fine with their new baby. They’ll listen to me tell them what to do
and then they’ll do what they want to no matter what I say. They have
to learn how to raise their own one experience at a time. I can’t
do it for them any more than my parents could do it for me.
We all wish we could save our kids some grief by the value of our
experiences, but the reality is they have to learn on their own no
matter what we have to say about it.
The circle of life just keeps on turning.
© Peary Perry
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