As a child, all adults seemed, well, OLD! Parents of my friends were all ancient and teachers were probably nearing retirement or at least that is how I perceived it. As I am advancing in age towards my (gulp!) fifties this year, a couple of things have made me realize how very far off my perceptions were.
I just received news that the secretary to the high school principal of my local high school passed away on Sunday. At the first telling, it didn't really surprise me. I mean, I graduated more than 30 years ago and, while I never really thought about her age, I was positive that she must be older. I figured she had retired from her job years ago. Imagine my surprise when I read a post from a former high school teacher that mentioned how strange it would be for her to go to school on Monday and not see Mrs. Curtis there. Huh?!? Was the poor woman still working? How could that be? I followed the link to her obit and discovered that she was only 65! That means she was in her early thirties when I was in high school! How could that be? She was old! At least that is the way I remembered her.
I have also become a facebook friend with the woman who lived directly behind me when I was growing up. In our small rural town, no one was particularly well off but this family had less than most of us. However, it was always a joy to visit their home because it was always full of fun and full of love. It makes me smile to remember their teeny tiny little house with the crank washing machine. She wore her hair up in a very old fashioned bun and wore cotton house dresses .She dressed like my grandmother! My mother dressed much more modern and had an up-to-date haircut. I knew that she wasn't as old as my mother but I had no idea until recently at how very young she really was. Her children posted birthday congratulations on her facebook page and I figured out that she was in her twenties and early thirties in my youth. I could hardly believe it. The cool thing, however, is that from my conversations with her and from all of the photos posted on her page, her home is still full of fun and still full of love. No surprises there!
I didn't become a mother until I was in my thirties. However, I don't consider myself old even though I have lots of white hairs. I just wonder what my son's friends think of me. Do they think I am old? Tell me it ain't so!
Here's to not being old!