Age kept coming up in conversation yesterday. The first time it happened was when I walked into church and asked Miss Katherine how she was doing. She answered with one word, “Thankful.” Then she talked about how thankful she is to be able to live the way she does at almost 97. (I told you last Monday that she was already 97, but I had mistakenly added a year.)
After church a young mother talked about how she could hardly believe that her son was celebrating his 18th birthday yesterday. I told her that we already have one child in his 40s and that another is turning 40 in a couple of weeks. Another mother who is about my age was also in the conversation. She said that her oldest grandchild is 19.
Late yesterday afternoon we went to the birthday party of our grandson who turned five. Near the end of the party, his brother told him that after age five, you can’t show your age on your hand. Puzzled, I asked if after that you have to say your age. He said yes. I don’t know where he got that idea because his dad said that he hadn’t heard that rule. Their daddy held up both hands, opening and closing them; he joked that he shows his age with flashes! The birthday boy said that after you get the age of their daddy, people don’t ask how old you are.
I like the line in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life when George asks Mary how old she is. She tells him that she is 18 and then she asks, “Too young or too old?” He replies that her age fits her.
What a great idea that is. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone’s age fit him or her? By that I mean babies get to be babies, children get to be children, grownups act like grownups, mature adults act like mature adults. It’s not so nice when children act too “grownie” (that’s a word grownups used in my childhood when a child was acting older than he or she really was). It’s also not so nice when a grownup is childish. Jesus wants us to be childlike in our trust of God, but that isn’t the same thing as childish.
Thank you for homeschooling your children. One of its many advantages is that a child spending lots of time in his or her own family with people of multiple ages gives the child permission simply to be the age that God has made him or her today without so much peer pressure to grow up too fast — or too slow.
The glory of young men is their strength,
And the honor of old men is their gray hair.
God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.