Saturday, July 26, 2008

Aging Gracefully

I'm not actually sure what that phrase means. I always thought, when I was younger, that it meant accepting and working with nature's changes instead of trying to use clothing and make-up and surgical enhancements to defy nature. In other words, aging without objection. But then, when I was working on my book about Rick Springfield, I noted that a number of reporters made comments about Rick being the poster child for aging gracefully and such, and he didn't appear to be aging AT ALL.

I can't honestly claim to have given it much thought, but it did leave me uncertain as to what people might mean by that phrase. I must admit that I still don't know, but today I got a taste of something that might have been a hint.

As I've mentioned here recently, I became a sort-of-grandmother a couple of months ago.

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to sit on the edge of a pool and feed my grandson for the first time while his mother swam with her younger siblings. Back in the day, she got up at 6:00 every morning for swim-team practice, but today she couldn't remember the last time she'd been in the water. Her first dive was hesitant.

I'm a water disciple myself, but I couldn't have been more content than I was sitting on the deck with that child in my arms and watching my not-so-kids kids play together.

I remember seeing older people doing things like that when I was young, and kind of assuming that they were beyond swimming and splashing and all that. Not so, it turns out--I'd swim every day if time and space allowed. But then, I'd hold that baby while he slept every day, too, if he weren't 200 miles away. Maybe it's all about new dimensions. The great thing about aging, it begins to seem to me, is that the new joys we discover are more numerous and more significant than those that fall away.

No comments: