“I Am a Young/Old, Grumpy/Joyful Man”

Tonight, I feel like an “old man”.  I am not sure why, but I do.  I am 65 years old and tonight, I feel every bit of that, and maybe even a little older.  Maybe it is partially due to the fact that keeping a seven-year-old entertained and needs met can be exhausting.  At the same time, one of the benefits of raising a vivacious seven-year-old is that I get the opportunity to “play” a lot.  I would say that playing keeps me “young”.  I actually still enjoy building things out of Legos.  There are many days when I feel much younger than 65.  Tonight’s experience of feeling “old”, reminded me of how much of a paradoxical experience raising a grandchild can be.  We often fluctuate between experiences and emotions. 

Tonight, there were moments when I might be called, a little “Grumpy”.  I do experience many moments of grumpiness and I experience many moments of “Joy” and “Excitement”.  I can experience moments of loss and grief, related to what I would like to be doing at this age and stage of life.  And then, I experience moments through the eyes of an inquisitive seven-year-old who very often throughout the day approaches me with, “Pops I have a question”.  Sometimes I have a good answer and feel very smart, and sometimes, I have no clue, and not so smart.  I really don’t know “how many cars are there in the whole word?”  I love Sebellah’s questions, and they do keep my mind wondering as well.

So, the truth is, “I am a Young/Old man, and I am a Grump/Joyful man”, whose life is truly blessed daily through the eyes and inquisitive mind of a precious seven-year-old.  I have for long said, “Maturity is accepting life’s Paradoxes!”  I will choose to accept paradoxes that come with raising a grandchild.

Sharing the Journey,

Rich (“Pops”)

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I have been involved in the field of Human Services for 30 plus years. I teach in the field of Human Services for Purdue University Global. Allene is a stay at home "Lolli", after spending many years in the Healthcare field. We have 3 adult children and in May, 2018, we adopted our granddaughter, who is 6 years-old. We have had her since she was 5 months old. At the end of 2019, we moved to Mount Airy, North Carolina, as a part of a plan to downsize and give Allene the chance to retire, and be at home full-time. We are devoted to making a difference in Sebellah's life and also in the lives of other grandparents raising grandchildren.

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