Laughing (at me?)

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photo from immortalhumans.com

My kids poke fun at me (a lot). In fact my wife and I taught them how to do it. We have that kind of a relationship, we enjoy laughing. My wife and I have always had the same attitude, life can get brutal sometimes but you have to laugh at it, don’t let it beat you. This is what we have done for our 20 odd years together, and for us, it has worked. We are still in love, we still enjoy each other and we still get up looking forward to the day (ok maybe not everyday).

When I have written a new post the first thing I do is grab my phone, text my kids and wife to let them know. They are my biggest fans, of course I am theirs, well I might come in second, my wife is pretty competitive. I often get a wise ass text back, such as “is this one gonna make me cry?”

They have made a point in letting me know that my posts are ‘sappy’. One daughter talking to the other “did you read Dad’s last post?” the answer from daughter number two “was it about getting old and dying and not having any friends?” They are then joined by my sons and wife until the whole room is laughing at my expense. You know what I LOVE IT! When we are together we can find something to laugh at (even if it is me), we can find things in common to talk about, we can be happy.

When I decided to begin a blog (at my children’s urging I might add, you rotten kids) I had no idea what it was going to be, but I knew it was going to be about aging, what I had seen and done up until now. A sort of diary to help me with the whole aging process, cause let me tell you getting old ain’t for the faint of heart! If you are over 40 you know what I am talking about, if you are under, take my word for it, granted 40 is the new thirty.

The idea of this post came to me because of an incident that happened the other day. I was out running. As I came down my street I noticed, ahead of me’ a young woman, about 25 or so, walking her German shepherd. I had seen her and her dog before, the dog is only a puppy but it’s huge. She noticed me coming and sort of pulled into a driveway and had the dog sit while I passed by. As I passed I said to the young lady “he is not very old”. She explained to me that he was only a puppy but liked to jump, which scared the bejesus out of people. We had a nice exchange and away I went. As I thought about the exchange a little later I realized to myself that I have now reached the age where I am no longer a threat to young women. They no longer think of me as ‘hitting’ on them. I have now reached the age were they call me Sir, and have no qualms with chatting with me for awhile.

That SUCKS!

I came home and told my wife about the exchange and what I thought, she said to me “why are you talking to strange young women you perv”

Gus

Father of the Bride, Oy Vey

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Shaar Hashomayim Museum

My oldest daughter is getting married. How do I feel about this? Had someone asked me about this before the engagement party I would have said that I felt great, no big deal. I wish her all the best. But then came the engagement party and I was a wreck afterwards. It was really strange, it was one of those things you do not see coming until it is right in your face, WHAMO!

My daughter is getting married to a very nice Jewish gentleman, does this matter to me, no it does not, so why mention it? The truth is that I am learning just how ignorant I am about somethings. You see I am a half black (half afro-canadian?, help me out here), middle-aged man. I know as much about the Jewish religion as Inuits know about beach volleyball. This does not seem to be a problem when it comes to the husband to be. One of the first things he said to me was not to worry about it he was only Jew-ish. I know he did this to put me at ease and it did the job.

When I first met him I was luke warm, or tried to be. As any father with a daughter can tell you, you gotta make them sweat a bit. But he won me over pretty quick, he is just a nice kid. But more than that he makes my daughter happy, I could see it from day one, and I still see it every time I see them together. So I have grown to love him, he is now part of my family. I will admit, it has been a bit tough adjusting to my new in-laws. They seem to be wonderful people and we actually seem to have somethings in common, I am just so scared of pulling an Archie Bunker. Some faux pas in the middle of the wedding or other function (Jewish people seem to have a lot of functions). But I will also deal with this. Good people are good people, whatever religion or color or creed. You find things to laugh about together and pretty soon you are just people enjoying each others company.

So now we come right down to it don’t we, what is bother me about the whole thing? I think the engagement party was when it really hit me, my daughter has grown up, she is now a woman. I know I should have known this already, she has been on her own for quite a few years now, but it is not something that I thought about. It was like she was just sleeping over somewhere or something. If you have teenage kids you know what I am talking about. You hardly ever see them, they are in and out. My youngest daughter still lives at home but between school, work and her boyfriend I might run into her a couple of times a week.

I realized that my little girl is indeed going to be getting married, having kids (sooner than later I hope for my wife’s sake), buying a house, maybe moving away, who knows what can happen! Life can happen and is happening, and sometimes you just want your kids to stay your kids and stay home where you can keep them safe and watch over them. But everything changes and kids grow up.

I am more proud of her than I will ever be able to tell her with words, and more happy for her than she will ever understand. Well maybe one day when she has kids she will understand, but until then she will do fine, her mother raised her right.

 

Gus

Birthday Blues? Not this Guy

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Photo courtesy of Mrs. Gus

When did turning on the air conditioner become better than opening the windows? I said to my wife as we rolled down the highway the other day. I won’t write here reply here, but it made me laugh, that is probably why we’ve been married so long, we make each other laugh.

My birthday is fast approaching. I have no problem with turning 46, as long as…well I will get back to that in a moment. The only age I ever had a problem with was 30, for some reason in my mind turning 30 was the definitive “you are now a grown up!” age. But 46, HA! (I scoff), a walk in the park. However, birthdays make you reflect. Has it been a good year? Have I moved forward or backward this year? Have I become wiser, am I happy with where I am, should I make some major alterations in my life or steady as she goes?

As we get into middle age (although some people call their 50’s middle age, I don’t get it, lets face it how many of us live to a hundred), you do feel your mortality. It is not a blaring bill board, but you realize there is an end of the road. That is not a bad thing, not unless you are unhappy with where you are and where you’ve been. Do not worry I am not going to launch into a “The Power is in YOU!” speech, but I will say there is still time. As long as you woke up this morning there is still time. So long as there is still time, there is still time for change. If there is still time for change, there are still things to look forward to and work towards (are you still following me here).

That being said, as I have grown older I have also learned to experience the moment. This one was harder for me to grasp. It is something I have had to work on and am so glad I have slowed down a bit to appreciate things I would have totally missed 10 years ago. I have learned so much in my 46 years but I have so much left to learn. You know how that old saying goes, “I have learned enough to know I don’t anything”.

So I am turning 46 and I have no problem with that as long as… I remember to open the car windows sometimes to feel the wind, run in the house, turn the music up to loud, laugh out loud lots, dance in the kitchen when I am cooking…….

Gus