WHY DO OUR PARENT'S HAVE TO GROW OLD?
Why do our parent’s have to grow old?
I’m pretty sure I’ve been under the impression that my parents will live forever. Like even when my grandparent’s died, all of them, I didn’t full understand yet, that one day, my parents would be like their parents, and they would eventually pass on. It didn’t dawn on me then, but it sure does now. And I’m beside myself about it.
Why do our parent’s have to grow old? Mine aren’t old. They never will be. Because in my mind, they are so young and full of life and happiness that they are forever young. Forever. But this isn’t the case. They are moving up in age and although I’m pretty convinced they will be here forever, the truth is they won’t. So weird. Like, the immature little girl in me wants to say, ‘that won’t happen.” But it will. And I’m petrified.
I grew up in quite the magical family. When I think about my childhood, I smile willingly because it was magical. Wonderful. All the feels, all the time, all my childhood. Mom and Dad took us around the world and back. They literally broke their back doing it too. And they loved every minute of it. And they are not slowing down. But neither is time. And now I have babies. And I want the world to stand still.
There’s something that happens to you when you have children that nobody writes in a handbook. Like, you’re going to have children. And it will be hard. And times will be tough. And your parents will come to visit and they will help. They will cook and clean and hold your babies and go to Costco and stuff your pantry full of toilet paper and paper towels like freshman year at college. They will tell you to go out on date night and they will say they got it and not to worry. And they will play with your babies and sing the same songs they’ve sung to all their grandkids and you will know every song word for word, because you watched them “grandparent” before they were grandparents to your own children. And time will pass and you will catch your daughter sitting outside next to her grandpa waiting for the perfect moment to jump in and swim. And you will watch from your couch inside because you are nursing twin babies and you heart will process this. As your daughter talks to her Grandpa on the pool deck and he makes her laugh, you will catch her smile like a pro camera lens catches a baby being born in action and you will get completely choked up because you will want time to freeze. And you will cry. You want to remember this detail for detail because you realize how beautifully important today is.
Why do our parent's have to grow old? I get it. But for some reason, perhaps the babies growing, the seasons changing, it's all coming to me at once. And my heart is just, timid. I miss them. I miss being near them. I miss my grandparents. And all of sudden I realize time is just slipping by.
Last trip Dad was here, I watched Kona Blue and him plant some plants in pots. I glanced outside with a baby on my hip and all of a sudden I had a flash back of my Grandma. She used to love it when I drove down to Newport Beach to see her and we would get pedicures. But sometimes she just wanted to tend to her plants. She loved plants. She was 100% Hawaiian, of course she loved plants. But I didn’t. And I didn’t pay attention to the plants. I didn’t realize in that moment with my Grandma we weren’t just planting plants. So this last July when I walked outside to see exactly what they were doing, and I saw Kona Blue’s hands full of dirt and her smile brighter than the sun, I caught a glimpse of my Dad’s beaming face and it was then I realized why I should’ve “payed more attention to planting plants”.
Grandma’s gone now and I don’t know a thing about planting plants. And all I want to do is go back and talk to her about her and Grandpa’s marriage and how they made it work 55 years and how not to kill the plants on my front porch. But I can’t. I can’t go back.
But I can pay attention to my Dad planting plants like my daughter does. I can be still and present and watch my daughter play patty cake outside with her Mimi and watch her laugh until she falls down. I can soak in every moment my twin boys cuddle up to Mimi because she’s been in our house for 3 weeks straight and they know her like she lives here. I can take this all in and I will. Because our parents are getting old-er. And why? Well because God made it that way and he built us strong enough to endure the pain that comes along with losing them. I realize I’m lucky to still have them. I realize I’m lucky to have them at all. But I just really don’t want to let go. And I don’t have to. But one day they won’t be here and I’ll have to explain to my kids how remarkable their grandparents were. Or maybe I won’t. Because maybe they’ll pay attention. In fact, I'm pretty sure they already are.