There was a time in my career that I was very self conscious about my ageâ€¦ actually two times. Just starting out was tough because with no experience it seemed that I had more energy to burn than should have been allowed. Later on I never mentioned family in private business relationships because it seemed to be more professional to project an image of only one driving force: my work. Having kids made me seem old to my bosses, or so I thought. Iâ€™m not sure when the epiphany happened in my life, but when the lightbulb finally came on over my head I woke up to the fact that all of me is important and thatâ€™s all I need. Who cares what others think about my age. I still feel that I was professionally precocious starting out and now I feel that getting older has not kept fresh ideas from changing my course. What you see is what you get: A Boomer with an attitude! My kids have kids and Iâ€™m still young enough to enjoy all of them.
Every year my wife and I take the grandkids for a week to get into their heads and get a little smarter about how to think young. Next week is one of two such â€œCamp Grandsâ€ episodes this summer and Iâ€™m really looking forward to it. How ironic that the most annoying thing to me in life is also children that choose to disturb me when in the confined space of an airplane or screaming uncontrollably in a restaurant while Iâ€™m eating. If I think, â€œThat could be my daughter and my granddaughter!â€ it makes the annoyance seem passable. Raising kids is not easy. The cycle of life is what it is. Children are a gift to us to make us mindful of how unfettered minds can be so creative and refreshing. I urge my friends without children to borrow someâ€¦ nieces and nephews also serve as catalysts to our attitudes.
In an early comedy routine Bill Cosby complained that his father was so stingy when he was growing up, but now he would keep giving his kids money. Paraphrasing his punch line, he attributed this change in attitude to an old man who is now trying to get into Heaven! Iâ€™m not sure that is absolutely true because in spite of the headaches they cause, kids are worth it. Anything we can do to tolerate their bad behavior and encourage their good behavior is a benefit to everyone. Doing that without suppressing their natural ability to fantasize and create imagination is the trick. I am so blessed to be old enough to see the joy in my kidsâ€™ lives as they raise their children. Being a grandparent is cool to me now because it has made me a better person.
The next time you are annoyed at a baby crying in church, remember that God said it was OK to make a joyful noise! It is very biblical to be young and noisy. Now if only I can remember how to pray for the strength to have kids in the house once again.
Image credit: anyka / 123RF Stock Photo (Modified)