Recently they have called to delicately offer advice about aging.
Because they are young and unwise, I react with patience, a sign, I might note, of maturity and wisdom.
So, I decided to address each of their suggestions in writing, because they left the nest years ago and I don’t see them that much. Also because I won’t see their raised eyebrows.
“Hey Dad! How about walking a few miles everyday? Great exercise!”
Really? I get in several miles a day walking around the house, up the stairs to the second floor bedroom and back down to the first floor, downstairs to the laundry and back up to the first floor looking for the glasses I put down… somewhere….or the iPhone which always rings when I’m out of the room… or the car keys…my morning coffee… the dog…
“Have you tried Wordle? Or Memozor! Great for memory!”
I exercise my memory almost all day every day: remembering and retracing my moves over the last hour to find my glasses.. iPhone… car keys… computer… my morning coffee… your names (just kidding!)
“Or Sudoku for mental acuity!”
Not necessary. There are many mental acuity games for seniors, but the best place to keep your mind sharp is a daily dose of media – separating the fact from fiction in news, ads, cable, politics, just about everywhere. And, unlike games, which can get old, there’s always an abundance of new material.
“Are you a member of a gym?”
Don’t need it. Life keeps me strong: Unsticking the jelly jar that got stuck in the refrigerator… taking out the garbage… moving books from the couch to the coffee table so I can sit, then picking them up again so I can decide which one to read, then deciding to watch TV and read tomorrow and moving them to the table again so I can lie back and assume the TV position…walking the dog and holding onto the leash for dear life when he leaps in the air and barks at EVERY SINGLE DOG that goes by!
“Now Dad…remember what you taught us: patience is a sign of maturity…”
Really? Guess who listens to friends (old like me) tell jokes (even older) in painful detail…over and over and over…?
“Yeah. That happens with old people. They can’t hear or remember well, so they repeat things.”
What I haven’t told them is I’ve been faking interest in conversations for years. You see, I need hearing aids, but hearing aids are for old people and I don’t want anyone to know I’m old. Especially my kids.
Lucky for me they haven’t picked up on it yet.