One of the best things about being in one’s 50s is the chance to get to know your own kids as adults. It’s a truly interesting, sometimes fascinating, experience to sit with your wife across a restaurant table from another person—your son—and his wife. Just couples getting better acquainted. He’s your son, yet he’s an adult with a spouse and it all feels different because it is different.
Your son or daughter, now in his or her 20s or 30s, usually married but maybe single, is in the process of making a whole series of decisions you remember making as a young adult. Profession, jobs, rent or buy, car payments, children, and a host of other home economics. But more than that, philosophic decisions about living “In the World” while “Not of the World,” making their own way in the Christian journey.
I’ve told each of our four, now 20 or 30-somethings with three of four married, “You don’t have to do it the way we (Mom and Dad) did it. You don’t have to answer to me. What you need to do is discuss each decision as a couple, assure the direction you’re going is consistent with the moral will of God, then move forward. Issue is: how does the Lord want you to live your lives?”
While we’re here for them, what they need to do is make their own decisions and make their own way. And they do. Sarah once observed, “We taught our kids to be independent, and they are.” She said this after one of them hadn’t been in contact with home for a while and then made a rather strategic decision or two. OK, not my call.
Another thing that comes along, usually, is daughters-in-law and/or sons-in-law. In our case, two of the former and one of the latter are now part of the family. Very cool indeed to watch your son mellow out when his wife tells him with a look to “Cool it.” For sure, makes me smile. Also more than a little interesting to have another young man around who thinks so differently from the rest of us because his background is rooted in another family.
Now in our 50s there’re also to-date four grandsons. At 8 years of age, the oldest, was born just before I turned 50. So another good thing about being in one’s 50s is the opportunity to get to know, at least in their youth, your grandchildren. Interesting. The three brothers who look sort of like they belong in our family, dark hair and eyes, all have a French last name with a lot of letters. Then the fourth and newest grandson who wears our last name has light hair, blue eyes, and looks like his Mama’s family. Go figure, but fun.
All in all, getting older isn’t so bad.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011
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