Monday, February 13, 2012

Lessons at the Bathroom Sink (Four generations.)

When I was about 12, I remember watching my dad shave. He must have had his wallet nearby, because I asked him, "Dad, why does your drivers' license say that you have dark brown hair?"

"Because I do, Son."

"Hmmm... more salt-and-pepper as you say."

"Hmmm... Be quiet son."

And so I learned a lesson from my dad, who was in his late 30's at the time. Time moves on, hair color may change, self-perception may lag behind.

* * * * *

Recently my grand-daughter informed me, while we looking at old photos, "Grandpa, you used to have brown hair!"

"Hmmm... Yeah, it's more salt-and-pepper now." (Getting heavier on the salt, I must say.)

So I'm wondering, Grey hair must weigh a lot because when I had brown hair, I weighed 25 pounds less!

* * * * *

My two year old grandson has an age-appropriate habit of putting his finger in his nose. Recently, as he was sitting on my lap, he started aiming for mine. I love the little booger, but... some things are private!

During an inattentive lapse, he got what he was after, but it wasn't my nose, it was my mustache. He likes feeling it.

* * * * *

Once upon a time, when my 32 year old daughter was closer to two, she used to visit with me while I shaved before going to work. One day, I shaved off my mustache. She was alarmed! "Shave it back on," she pleaded.

Just for fun, I used to put some lather on her cheeks and "shave" it off with the back side of my razor.

* * * * *

Good times and memories around the bathroom sink, facial hair, and salt-and-pepper hair. I wonder what stories they will tell?

Grass Stains and Grey Hair

I turned 58 last November. I teach math. 58 rounds to 60. Yikes!

Now I'm an optimist, but I've got to say that I'm thinking that I'm getting toward the end of middle-aged.

But the echoes of my youthfulness are still evident: I occasionally get grass stains!

Over Christmas, my son was in town, along with my son-in-law's brother. Both of these guys are in their very early 30's. (Wow. Don't tell them, but that could be a boundary of the beginning of middle-aged.)

From my view point, they're young men, so when we set up a volleyball net on the park lawn across the street from my house, I was all in. I love volleyball. I own a nice grass court net, complete with lines. But my volleyball is old and cracked. Aged. (Not to worry. They had one.)

We played 3 against 2. Luckily, or by design, I was on the team of 3. We lost most, if not all the games, but we were competitive, and my son-in-law's brother commented when it was all over, "Wow, Don. You've still got a lot of play." It was a compliment, even if the implication was, "You've got a lot of play (for an old guy)." But this "old guy" had blocked several of his spikes, and dug a few balls via diving plays complete with rolls. (That's how I got the grass stains: my badge of lingering athleticism.)

I was feeling good about ageing. Older but wiser. Cagey. Still able to hold my own on a court of some sort.

A week or so later, while I was musing on a piece I'd call "I've got grass stains on my shorts!" I spent some time with my five-year-old grand-daughter. At one point in the afternoon, she pulled out some old photo albums of her mom, my daughter. As we're seeing the pictures of her "younger" mom, Rachel says to me, "Gee, Grand-pa, you used to have brown hair."

I thought, "Now I don't?"

I remember reading on my dad's driver's licence, "Hair color: Dark Brown."

I remember saying, "Gee, Dad, when did you have dark brown hair? It's really more salt and pepper, heavy on the salt." (Or words to that effect.)

Now, the shoe was on the other foot. (And is he laughing in his urn?)

"Yes, Rachel. I used to have brown hair."

And later I mused, a bit on the depressive side, "I'm going to get old and die." (A bit melodramatic, but actually, quite accurate. It's the way things work.

It took a while to get back to balance: "I may be getting older, but I'm enjoying the journey."

A week or two ago, I played "jump-the-ditch." Last week, I played jump rope. I got some new grass stains, but I quit before I hurt myself.

And my driver's licence says: Hair: Brown. and Weight: 195 and Height: 6' 0". One of those three descriptions are still accurate. The shrinking hasn't started yet... or has it?

Well, at least I can still mow my own lawn. And play a little jump rope. And get an occasional grass stain.

Look out lawn: here I come!