I have been accused of telling a “dad joke” or two dozen over the past few years, which is OK – I am, after all, a dad. I’m a four-time dad, in fact. And a three-time granddad. So, if you take the patriarchal equation just noted – and add the sound I now make routinely while trying to extract myself from a chair – you can safely surmise that I’m also getting up there in years.
What I’m trying not to do, however, is get down about either of those “getting ups.”
After spending at least eight minutes of significant contemplation, I have concluded that aging is just a part of life. Granted, it’s usually the last part … and the part where you celebrate sales on generic medicine at the pharmacy … and the part where you spend an inordinate amount of time with male friends talking about the prostate … and the part where you consider walking at the mall legitimate exercise … and the part …
I’m sorry, I can’t remember what the next part is.
No matter – I have decided not to let those parts define me.
While I am definitely a senior citizen, I am, foremost, a citizen. And while I might have a vertical leap of four inches, what I’ve gained in wisdom over time is leaps and bounds more profound than the wisdom I possessed as a young man, particularly that time when I thought it was funny that my young son answered “Dad says it means go faster” after my wife asked him what the yellow traffic light means.
Kids, repeat after me: The yellow light means “slow down.”
But while I have reached, metaphorically speaking, the yellow light era of my life, I would just as soon not slow down right now.
Well, for starters, I have come to the conclusion that those four children don’t care to hear about what’s ailing me; they want to hear sage advice about how to navigate the mine fields of life. And those three grandkids – they don’t want to hear Pops start a sentence, “when I was your age …;” they want him to take them to Six Flags and act their age.
I did just that, a couple of months ago. I had more fun than they did. And they had plenty of fun.
Maybe that’s the best sage advice I can give here in this space this month: No matter the number of candles on the birthday cake, we should have fun blowing them out.
That’s pretty much the point we make this month, in a special feature that begins on page 46 and that salutes various entities in our region that salute seniors. Their quest – and, subsequently, ours – is to create opportunities for those of us experiencing the golden years to continue to strike gold. That’s a worthy quest.
And that’s no (dad) joke.