When You’re Not The Kid Anymore

My folks had been married fifteen years before I burst onto the scene. As they so often pointed out, I was quite an unexpected surprise. (Not unlike a clearance sale at JC Penney.)

I’m guessing that’s because after 15 years of trying, both of them assumed parenthood wasn’t in the cards.

And then I came along—conceived on a rustic fishing trip in Canada, no less. (Come to think of it, I should really have dual citizenship.)

When I was born, The Bevinator was nearly 40. And Dad was 44. Back in the 70s, that was akin to a medical miracle. (It was also an era where moms smoked during their pregnancy. Bless.)

Having older parents certainly had its advantages. For one, my folks were firmly entrenched in their careers. Oh, and they had just built their idyllic dream home. I’m not sure how thrilled my dad was when he had to convert his den into my nursery.

The only con of having older parents was, well, they were old. Feisty, but old. Revered, but old. Established, but old.

Growing up, no one in my (teen)age bracket had parents as old as mine. I didn’t see it as a disadvantage, just a novelty. I also distinctly remember watching my parents shift gears as my grandparents got older. Almost overnight, they had to assume parental duties on a number of different—and unchartered—levels with their folks.

I watched my parents like a hawk growing up—their mannerisms, their idiosyncrasies, and, of course, how they carried themselves. When they both selflessly threw themselves into taking care of my grandparents, I knew I would someday return the favor.

Be mindful, my friends—because when that switch flips and you become the adult with your parents, there’s not a reset button. Your parents are now relegated to relying on you for most everything, no matter how independent they may seem.

Every day, I see something that reminds me of Mom or Dad. A buzzy, ever-present hummingbird, for instance. But it also reminds me of the sacrifices they had to take in caring for their parents. Same goes for me. Was it ideal? No, but it was engrained in my essence. And it was the least I could do.

As I watch my friends’ parents go through the aging process, I’m reminding of that switch-flipping process. It ain’t easy. And once it happens, there’s no going back. My parents moved mountains for me and they’re still doing it from afar. Taking care of them in their twilight years was the very least I could do for them. It remains the single most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

So, let me know if you need some advice in how to navigate this process. I’m not the parent whisperer, but I’ve got some insight—should you need it.


4 thoughts on “When You’re Not The Kid Anymore

  1. So true ! And while it may be stressful
    At times parenting your parents you will miss it like no others when the job is over !!!

  2. Very informative blog, Michael. And such a beautiful tribute to your amazing Parents! ((♥))

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