I kinda wrecked my car. Today my dad met me at the auto body shop where the owner and I are now on a first-name basis, since this is the third time this year I’ve had pointless parking-lot fender benders. My dad came so he could lend me his cute yellow Mini-Cooper for a couple of days.
As I was sitting in the front seat re-familiarizing myself with the controls, I could feel him staring at me. Glancing over, I saw a nostalgic look on his face I am very familiar with as a parent myself. “When you’re with me, do you ever,” he asked, “go back to when you were a little girl? Kind of feel like one again?”
I smiled. “Well, I know what you mean because I look at my kids and suddenly see them as a little child again. I was doing that with Kincade the other day, looking at how he’s a year from adulthood but imagining him as the 6-year old boy carrying his pet chameleon around. And suddenly I was shocked: ‘What are you doing with those whiskers on your chin!'”
So I start the car and my dad says, “You don’t need to drive me home. I’m just going to run it.” And he takes off down the highway, miles from his house.
Oh my goodness, this bodes well for my future. I love that dude. He’s so upbeat all the time–you can’t bring a depressed mood or be whiny with my dad. He’ll just ignore it and be all cheery and spunky till you either knock it off or get really annoyed. He has so much energy, always undertaking projects. If he calls me, he starts with, “How ya doin’?!” I find myself saying “Great!” even if I just wrecked my car and broke up with my boyfriend.
You’ve gotta find your lodestar. That person who is way ahead of you in life and has consistently, one day at a time, lived a wholesome life and looks and acts like YOU want to, when you’re that age. I know I write about my dad all the time, but really, he is the living proof that you don’t have to slide into sedentary, substandard, subsistence living as you age.
p.s. Got a few emails about this, immediately–I didn’t just break up with a boyfriend (mostly bc I don’t have one), but thanks for the concern. It was just a hypothetical example of how my dad lightens everything up even if you’re having a rotten day.