Have you every been meandering through your life and had the realization “Holy crap!!!!! I’m old!”? Not like some high school kid says when they meet an elementary school child who hasn’t heard of their favorite TV from their early years. That crap don’t fly. I mean, when the kind of realization that runs up from behind you and bashes your skull in with tube sock full of corroded nickels! THAT kind of realization. If you’ve been out of college (or trade school or whatever you decided to do with your life) for… oh, I don’t know….. 5-8 years. That’s when the realization of your aging finally smacks you. In most people I’ve noticed it happened right around 26-29. That’s when age has had enough of your tom-foolery and puts your little punk ass into place! Granted, I’m not talking about the kind of old where you better get your will straightened out, no no no. Just the kind of old that lets you know that you’re not the hot shit anymore, and you better start figuring some stuff out quick.
Do you know what I have discovered to be the greatest time piece in life to be? Children… That’s right, children. Now you may say “well, I’ve got that covered. I have my child making bits guarded by a spec-ops trained honey badger/grizzly snake. No kids for me SIR!!” Are you finished with your privates guarding myth-o-monster shenanigans? Good. Here’s a tid bit for you. It doesn’t matter if they’re YOUR kids or not. Just the fact that children exist is enough to do it. So let’s begin.
Now, admittedly I’m only 27. “Oh wow he’s so young and amazing. I’d totally chat with my close friends about buying him a virgin strawberry daiquiri or pralines and cream smoothie.” Well stop it you foul wretches! I’m a married man, and where as I might be tempted into a suspect looking van if I were tempted with a pralines and cream smoothie, I am happily married. (Not to say that everything has been lady bugs and…… pralines and cream smoothies.. but that’s a discussion for another day). Now many of you will say that at 27 I’m still just a snot nosed kid, and I would retort with “EXACTLY!!!!” If you feel that way about me (fine, fair enough), think about it. I’ve been on this earth for 27 years, I’m older than almost everything you see in your daily life aside from most of the building and I’m still a CHILD in your eyes. I’m 18x older than the average lifespan of that cell phone you’re fiddling with and I’m still infantile concerning you. Children put time into perspective in ways that nothing else can. Buildings are old as dirt, so they usually make you feel young. You might say “nuh uh, a car can make you feel old.” True, it can. But an aging car hits you with age slaps at milestones. I’ve had one vehicle for 3 years now and that doesn’t make me feel old. I’ve had another vehicle for 7 years now… yet it still doesn’t make me feel old. Now if you had the same car for 20 some odd years, then maybe, but not in any way like a child can. I even still have a t-shirt that I’ve had since my sophomore year in high school and it occasionally gives the “old willies”. That feeling you get when you see that shirt you’ve had for 11 years or so and say to yourself “man, I remember when that shirt was new. It seems like so long ago…” You feel old then, but for a fleeting moment. Children/the younger generation… that’s he real kicker there.
For all of you out there in the 25-35 range, remember rotary phones? Remember when computers ran off of floppy disks? Remember actually having to get up to change the channel on the TV? Remember when every damn thing in your house DIDN’T have it’s own wifi hotspot capabilities? Now think that kids still in high school and even worse, many in college have NO idea what those things are. They wouldn’t have the foggiest clue how to operate a walkman or use a computer with memory in the MB division. Now for people even older than 35, lets go up to 45+ many of us in the 25-35 range remember or even know about even MORE things you grew up with. Things like party lines, milk men, doctors that came to your house, things we’ve only heard about and seen in old tv shows and historical type movies. Has old dome-smacked you with a barrel of rusty screws yet? Granted, much of this is due to the rampant speed of development in technology, but still, think about it. there are people alive today who have ZERO idea about the things you remember so fondly from your childhood and even early adult life. That these same people can’t even COMPREHEND the the things that you lived through and (at the time) thought was the greatest technological marvel of all time! If a teenager were to see a movie like the original Frankenstein movie, they would claw their eyes out from boredom. Why? because their wrist watch is 50x more advanced, that and they have CG now. Remember how amazing the internet was when it first surfaced? It took you 5 minutes just to LOG ON and you were AMAZED!!!! Now if a 15 minute video takes longer than 4 seconds to load, buffer and start playing it’s like we’re back in the stone age. Yes technology has a way of making us feel old. But I still hold that children are better.
Children have the ability to take the things you once held so dear and amazing, so amazing that you are taken back to that time and they ruin it. You’re walking through a flea market because that’s what cool, amazing people do these days I’ve been informed. You see something like an old rotary phone and you are whisked away to the time of your youth when you would spend hours on it praying that your parents wouldn’t tell you to get off because they were expecting a call. You even remember, almost fondly, that you even had to schedule calls like that in the first place. Then some little brat shows up with their ihat, bluetooth jacket, and wifi contact lenses, looks at this piece of history and says “what the hell is that?”. They even say it like it’s some sort of grotesque, abomination to nature that should be put down with a rubber hose. In an instant your feelings of love and remembrance with this piece of history is turned to the want to bounce this kids head off the concrete floor… That or just give them that old “whiper-snapper” speech. Speaking of speeches, the first time you give the “when I was your age” speech…. that’s the point. That point in your life is when it all comes home. The fact that you’re old comes crashing down on you like a mack truck loaded with potatoes and sorrow. And you know what caused that…? Children caused that. They may not be your kids, they may just be some random person you will never see again, but that person just wound up the greatest time piece ever and crammed it in your face… and you will never forget that moment. From then on, everything changes. You no longer see kids as people. You see them as inconveniences (except your own kids. Your own kids are amazing and the greatest thing to ever be created, trust me. I have one), they are a constant and growing reminder that you are old. That you and everything you loved growing up are becoming (if not already) obsolete.
Now that’s not to say that kids should be hated, I’m not saying that (except the bratty ones, smack them with one of those sticky man wall climber toys from across the room)
We shouldn’t despise kids for not understanding what we went through growing up. We should just accept that time continues to march on and we, like everything else, are swept along with it. Just because you’re getting older, don’t let it get you down or upset (unless you’ve hit your 70’s, then be that crazy old person on the street that yells at the neighborhood kids, that’s an awesome person to be). Don’t hate kids for being born after you, tell them about the great things you did growing up, tell them about the hardships you endured and persevered through. Do it, because “when I was your age” speeches never get old, they help you stay young and even more… They help you really stick it to those snot nosed punks! I have a son, he’s 7 now and nearly every day I see him, he reminds me that I’m getting older. He says something in passing that tugs at my memory of he past and pulls it up to remind me of the fact that I am aging. I see him grow and am constantly reminded of how much time has passed since I held him as a baby. He reminds me how long ago 7 years was, and somehow brings it so much closer to the present. I don’t mind that I’m getting older, I love it. I love watching my son grow up. Now seeing my nephew ad niece sprout up like weeds…. We’ll see how that turns out (nothing against them personally, I’m just sure they will only exacerbate the oldness). The way I see it… If I have to get old in order to see my son grow into a man (and hopefully the kind of man I’m trying to prepare him to be )…. then shove that time piece in my face and let it tick away. I’m ready. Because I know that with every tick of that time piece, there will be memories to cherish. But those other kids…. screw those kids, When I was their age……. You get the point. Besides, I’m kind of looking forward to being that crazy old man that hides in the bushes of his own house and jumps out (fully clothed mind you) to scare the crap out of those whipper-snappers.