Young at heart
August 29, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

On the ride home the other day, my two daughters were engaged in a conversation regarding highlights in their hair from the summer sun.

My youngest daughter exclaimed, “Mom, you have highlights, too. They are silver and shiny.

I thanked her for noticing, and she kindly responded, “Mom, they are not gray and dull.”

Children do say the “darndest things.” They also keep you young at heart, even if one has shiny silver highlights in their hair.

My husband has been silver for a long time. He often receives comments about his grandchildren, even though they are his children.

In fact, the other day, my youngest daughter shared that at her play practice the other evening, another young actor asked her if she had a dad, because she always just sees my daughter with her mom or her grandpa, which really is her dad, my husband.

Delaney’s response, “That’s my dad. He’s just gray.”

For goodness sake, we are not that old. Having children does keep you young in spirit and in body – children keep you physically moving. (Others may argue that children can age you, as well.)

Just Sunday afternoon, our family started our annual football season. It was our youngest, Delaney, and Dad – always called the Purple Tigers – versus Callie, our older daughter and myself – the Golden Dragons. Our son was too sore from his first week of four hour-a-day soccer practices.

Most Sundays throughout the fall until snow hits the ground, we engage in our family football game. The games include punting, passing, kicking, well-thought-out plays, lots of laughs, and maybe some sore muscles, too.

The activities that we engage in with, or observe our children participating in, and the conversations we have with them define our “age,” as well.

My husband and I both had older parents, also.

In my father’s mid-60s, he was playing catch with me and teaching me how to pitch an underhand spinner in softball. (I was a pitcher in high school.)

Because my parents were retired by the time I was really involved in various school activities, they came to almost every game, activity, meet, and concert I participated in. They had the time for it. They enjoyed it, and it kept them moving.

Children help keep things in perspective, as well. Although they certainly don’t have the responsibilities that, we, as adults, and parents have, what is most important to them is the love of their family. Children just want to be loved and accepted by the most important people in their lives.

Spending time with children, encouraging their individualities, and laughing with them are truly what life is about. Children help remind us what is most important.