10 Feb Forty Five and Reflecting
Frankie Valli sang, “Walk like Man” on the oldies station my parents listened to as we drove home late in the evening sometime in the mid 80’s. How a person would know when he is no longer a kid and had become a man? I thought about that question a lot in those days. What is the sign? Puberty? A wife and kid? A job? It seemed like the most important question in life to me at that time, but one that no one seemed able to answer definitively.
Today, I turned forty five. I’ve heard this age described as the eye of the storm. The drama of growing up is behind, the hazards of aging somewhere ahead. The calm of the moment gives an opportunity to reflect and consider. Bob Buford compared your forties to half-time in a football game. It’s the season of life where the game is won or lost.
Most likely there aren’t as many years in front of me as there are behind me, but with the advances in medicine you never know. I’ve been married to the same woman for over 20 years – my college crush. I still consider winning her heart as one of my life’s greatest victories. We can say more to one another with a glance than some people can in a book.
Our three kids are turning out dang well. I find myself praying frequently that they don’t marry and idiot and mess up the good thing we have going. I wonder about our unborn grandkids from time to time, what they will be like. I hope the grandkids don’t call me something that sounds old. I like the sound of “El Capitán”.
I have some bad habits, but they were carefully selected and I don’t plan to get rid of them at this point. I have good ones as well and thankfully they’ve paid great dividends.
Like most guys, I thought I would have accomplished more by now. But, the game isn’t over and I have a better hand now than I started with. With God’s help and a lot of grace, I just might finish well.
At some point alone the way, I quit wondering when one becomes a man, I guess that the sign I was looking for.