“Mom, I don’t really want to be big. I just want to grow to about 16, be as big as sixteen because that when you can drive, right? That’s all I really want to be”. Autumn spent the earlier part of today contemplating age, most likely due to my birthday. I swear 38 must sound soooo old to a kid. I distinctly remember my mom turning 35 (I happened to find a mug in a local store with 35 candles on it and was overjoyed!) and thinking that was ancient! How humble age makes us, we think we know so much when we are so young, but we get older and realize we never really knew anything at all! How can that be?
Grandpa John has a great story from his youth. He was about 17, working in a restaurant somewhere in Ohio. Life was about to begin for John, but not so much for the “old” guy who worked alongside him. One bright day, he remembers the older guy telling John a story of age and intelligence. He said to John, “You’re only 17, is that so? You think you know everything, don’t you? All that means is that you are only going 17 miles an hour.” “I’m going 70 miles an hour, don’t forget it!!!” Of course when John was 17 he thought that was a pile of crap, a bunch of shit given to him by a bitter old man stuck working in a restaurant his whole life. But after 70 years, the story remains and the restaurant worker was a whole lot smarter than anyone knew. Only age can do that to you and it’s unfortunate that we don’t give the old guys and gals in our society a break once in awhile to stop and remember their wisdom.
So onto the celebration of birthdays…and to moving 38 miles an hour!