I've been thinking about what it means to act your age and wondering if it's time to do just that. I remember this phrase from my childhood and I don't know why. Perhaps I was a little too wacky and got a reminder or two or a lot to straighten up and act like the person who was seven-years-old instead of the hyper person who acted like a five-year-old. My mom has already filed a plea of innocent. She does not recall saying this to me but if put on the stand, I believe she would agree that I earned a reminder every once in awhile.
To me, the idea of acting your age is dumb. First, what does that mean? When you are a baby, you have to act like one because you can't change your own diapers or get to the refrigerator for snacks. You have to be a baby because you don't have a choice. Once you sit up, you've got to crawl in order to get to all the stuff you're not supposed to have. This is where the herd splits. We've got belly crawlers, butt scooters, elbow and knee speedsters and all sorts of variations. We still need food and clean butts.
The age you start walking is the only thing that sets you apart from others and that doesn't mean much. We'll all be running by the time we are three and trust me, we'll be acting our age. Whoever started the terrible twos rumor must have hired a nanny for the threes. That's where we really make progress in acting a whole lot of ages at one time. This is hard on parents and great for creative kids who really don't have time to watch the Potty is Fun video. I still sing the song from the video I got for my grandsons.
Moving right along, we go to school. Hopefully there weren't any Pampers in our lunch pails so this separated the players from the spectators. It is fortunate that most of us did not have the benefit of kindergarten so we got an extra year to control some things. Either way, we arrived in our first grade classrooms too early or too late. We had a heck of a time with the regimentation of school. Historically, girls caught on to this school thing faster so it was easier for them. Boys? They wanted to act their age by digging in dirt and killing ants. They did not want to sit quietly in a desk. They had business to do outdoors and it called to them like the Sirens. How can you study under those circumstances? Boys had one heck of a time acting their ages. Mr. S was five years-old when they put him in first grade. I can tell you that he shouldn't have started school until he was seven. His life-long attitude has been school-schmool.
By the time we graduated from high school most of us were headed for a job or a marriage. Few of us went on to college. We were acting out our ages according to the generations before us. This is how we became adults and formed the values we still live by.
In the years that followed I think we changed the world. We changed the way our kids were raised because we had two-parent working households. We changed lifestyles with more entertainment, vacations and recreational vehicles. We became more involved in politics and we volunteered more. We created a different way of doing things and kept on until we changed the world of Geezers.
Maybe you were part of this change and maybe not but you have to admit that your life as a senior citizen is not the same as your grandparents lives were. Some of this change is good and some not but I think we're a pretty clever generation who appreciate a smile, a discount and good story. We choose clothing for comfort instead of style and don't worry about what other people think. We are willing to laugh at funny jokes and keep a network of friends online in addition to the ones we keep for ourselves at home.
We are old and we should act like it. What does that mean? We can do any darned thing we want to as long as it isn't mean spirited or against the law. We can mix plaids and polka dots and have noodles on mashed potatoes. We can brag about binge-watching television shows. We can play games on the Internet or just spend hours chatting with friends. We can read for one entire day without getting dressed. We can wear jammies to the mailbox. We can wear slippers all the time. We don't HAVE to do anything we don't WANT to do. That's my favorite part.
This time in our lives is something we created together. We don't have to act our age any more. We just have to enjoy every day and be thankful for it.
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