Wet kisses on a wrinkled face
Sometime last year I had a vital grown-up conversation with my slowly aging dad. I hate to say aging because well, he is daddy and I want him to forever show no signs of aging at all, to stay strong and healthy as I’ve always seen him to be. I have the fondest memories of him. Like, I remember him bringing us vanilla and chocolate wafers anytime he came back home from work and us running to his open hands, him picking us up without staggering and one by one throwing us in the air and us landing back into his arms.
At times we would cling onto his body and he would twirl and twirl and twirl and we couldn’t let go and miraculously with our heads spinning, we would land on the ground laughing without a worry in the world to stop us. He was superman. And nobody could argue that fact. When you are this little you don’t see any fault in your superman dad. Aging is a scary fact, and we are all aging. Gracefully I hope.
A part of me feels like the older I get the more uncertain I get about certain things. The more serious life gets. The harder adulthood gets. Decisions to be made pile up. Choices to make increase. Each day that goes by is a day closer to God knows what. ( like this Corona ) The worry of dying someday. The wave of sadness I leave behind on those who genuinely love me. The possibility of losing someone I hold dear increases and so on.
However disturbing it is sometimes I choose to focus on the beauty of aging. I am a willing learner of this life. Growing older has its advantages and challenges. I feel that the beauty of life is not in “making it.” It’s in the process. The day to day little steps. Nevertheless, I am only a big little human, Ciru. And I have my fair share of worries. Like am I even fertile to conceive and bring forth a life?
On the 2nd of July was my elder brothers birthday. I deliberately called my dad to remind him that. If you are new here, just know my dad remembers no one’s birthday, not even his own. So we don’t hold bile on that. And anyway we didn’t grow up celebrating our birthdays.
We had a chitchat, of course, we talked about the weather and then I paused and asked him.
Me: Dad, do you remember anything relevant that happened in your life 28 years ago? Anything life-changing?
Dad: heee 28years ago is a long time. What do I know? (In Kikuyu, which is even funnier)
Me: (laughing and also judging my dad’s lack of memory ) really dad? Nothing?
Dad: No. Remind me.
Me: Dad really how can I remind you? I wasn’t born yet?
Me: Today 28 years ago you had your firstborn son.
Dad: Oooh yes. True. My goodness, he is almost hitting 30 and he hasn’t brought a wife. ( his voice suddenly sounded worried)
Us: simultaneously laughing
Me: Dad it’s not too late. And who knows that is not everyone’s path. (And seriously was it not a life-changing moment for you holding your firstborn son? I wanted to add)
Dad: (in a shocked voice) No. don’t say that. There are certain things in life you don’t need to wait too long to do. You take a leap of faith and work with what you have. If you appreciate and work with what you have now you will be fine.
Well, we talked more and laughed a lot and I even asked him what his expectations of me were when it came to that topic of marriage and children. I can’t recall how this conversation ended but, I probably mentioned to him that in the times we live in now it’s by God’s grace to find a partner to stick with for life. Knowing I probably wouldn’t change his line of thought and not wanting to shock him, I didn’t mention that in this economy not everyone wants to rush into settling down. And that some people have a goal of settling at 35 and not 25 and some never at all. And that I am not even sure what settling down means for me.
I’m so grateful I can have these kinds of grown-up talks with my dad and what I’m even happier about is that he doesn’t pressure me to give him grandkids. (It might be something he worries about or talks about with his peers or mum but he never directly asks me what I’m waiting for) I feel like he trusts my judgment. Or maybe he lost hope because I can see the 3rd floor calling and I can’t hear my baby crying haha. What baby?! LOL
Nevertheless, he is aging and what I would love is for him to experience loving his grandkids and receiving that love back. I know deep down I would love to have kids. And I cannot wait to hear my kids call my parents guka and cucu. This is a deadly motivation though, but I’m refraining until it feels right for me. There might never be the right time to have children and you can never be 100% ready but you can also get to that point where you want them and are sorta kinda halfway ready and can handle that.
I believe grandchildren bring a unique rare kind of happiness to grandparents. And it would be a blessing to be at an angle of experiencing how they relate. I imagine it to be like me watching my parents raise me all over again, giving, taking, learning, unlearning, relearning, changing for the better, redeeming, understanding, and forgiving…all that and more from the whole experience. Maybe I even get the upper hand to call out my parents if they choose their ways (that don’t sit right with me) over mine when it comes to disciplining my kids. Huh!
I don’t know how my life ends up but I hope that part of it will be spending the holidays with my kids and their grandparents, my parents in their backyard playing all kinds of stupid hearty games like the ones in my childhood. Hopefully, dad will still be energetic enough to twirl as they hold onto his beautiful strong arms, and when they land on the ground I wish they shower him with wet kisses on his beautiful wrinkled face.
I’m here consumed in my wishful thinking praying that one day I will refer to this post and smile really hard out of satisfaction.
i feel like i took part in writing this because in so many ways you have brought out my thoughts.
aww that’s beautiful to hear.