Too What for What?

SONY DSCHumans are born into the world and spend the rest of their lives hearing the phrase ‘You are too old for_________’. When I trudge down memory lane, I can find the phrase ‘too old’ bumping me mercilessly from one stage of life to the next.

-I was happily floating along in my very pregnant mother, 3 weeks overdue and with no intention of going anywhere. Nature said ‘Tough. You are too old for the womb.’ And I was abruptly thrust into a world of bright lights and cold metal.

-13-month-old Me was happily going about performing my duties, clad in a comfy cloth diaper, when my mother said, ‘You are too old for diapers’ and thrust me
onto a cold potty chair.

-My 5-year-old self was happily bossing my baby brother and sister, when my parents said, ‘You are too old to stay home anymore’ and thrust me onto a yellow school bus to go to kindergarten where someone else did the bossing.

-In 6th grade my friend and I hungrily donned love beads and sashes and granny glasses and went trick-or-treating as hippies. A neighbor said, ‘You girls are too old to trick-or-treat’ and thrust mealy apples into our bags.

-13-years-old and on vacation with my family. The hotel said, ‘She is too old to stay for free. You’ll need to pay.’ My father, not anticipating this arbitrary age/rate increase, cut the vacation short.

-And so it went. I learned that junior high was too old for recess, high school too old for Nancy Drew, college too old to be carefree.

-There came a day when my stomach told me I was too old to eat chili dogs, my knees told me I was too old to sit cross-legged on the floor for hours, my brain told me I was too old to memorize much of anything.

And eventually my entire body will warn me that, while I can still try to hokey pokey, I really am too old for anything but pokey.

Yes, without a doubt, I disapprove of the phrase ‘Too old’

This morning, my uncle was told he was too old for his earthly body, and thrust, (albeit gently) into a whole new world, where he learned he would never EVER be told he was too old. Ever again.

But those of us left here learned that we are never too old to cry.


17 thoughts on “Too What for What?

  1. Beautifully done, Anita. I will say though that if no one knows your true age, then sometimes you can get away with stuff. Many people don’t know just how old I am because I don’t act my age (well, and I have young kids when some of my high school friends have college aged kids and are becoming grandparents). Besides, my Great-Grandmother (who became too old for this world at the ripe age of 104) told me that when I grew up I would like coffee. I can drink it on occasion but I don’t like it yet, ergo – I’ve not grown up. Now as for what my body tells me, I agree that is a totally different story.

    • Susan, I don’t mind getting older. Well, I don’t mind some aspects. What I keep waiting for is the sort of lovely maturity that means I won’t constantly regret what I say or do, or don’t say. Or don’t do.

  2. From a purely literary standpoint, Anita, this was very well crafted. You had me hooked as usual, but I didn’t see that ending coming. From a ‘friend’ standpoint, may I say I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Even though it is temporary, we still must suffer the grief in a fallen world, yes? May our gracious Lord dry your tears quickly and fill your mind with wonderful memories. Grace and peace to you.

  3. Well, my friend, I am just reading this for the first time today and smiled my way through it! I identified with so much of it (I was the bossy oldest of three and a fan of Nancy Drew) but was also totally caught off guard for the ending. So at this family-oriented time of the year, I pray our Lord Jesus will bring warm memories to your heart, cradled in His love, and joy knowing your uncle is worshipping at the feet of the one-time Babe in a manger. Love you.

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