Getting Old

cane_edited.jpg“Dad?” RileyGrace is sitting in the back of our Ford Windstar gazing out the window.  

 “Yes, ma’am.”  

“How many years is a person when they start to get old?”   I glance at her in the rear view mirror.   Her posture is perfect as she sits atop the last car seat she’ll ever need.   Her head is tilted inquisitively.   Loose strands of angel hair dance in front of her face, glowing in the afternoon sun.   My last little girl is growing up so fast.   She smiles, awaiting an answer to her question.

“Well, it depends,” I offer. “Some people get old very early.   Others really never seem to get old.   I guess it just depends on the person.”

She considered this for a moment.   I  am proud of my response.   Not too much information, but enough to answer the question accurately.   It is a secret aspiration of mine that my kids will one day look back and reflect on the great wisdom of their father.   I bask in visions of the three of them as adults sharing Thanksgiving coffee around the family table, marveling at how good ole’ Dad could take even the most complex of subjects and put  them in terms that even a child could understand.

“Dad?” RileyGrace interrupts my delusions of grandeur.

“Yes, honey.”

“How many years were you when you got old?”

Clearly I have done my job.

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