Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Does Life REALLY Begin at 38?

My dear friend Richard keeps a blog (www.brotherraven.blogspot.com) and the byline is "Life begins at 38". Today - I am 38. Now, I am a very nostalgic person and I routinely weep at the thoughts of years gone by, so I got to thinking....

When my Dad was 38, it was 1979 and we had just moved to Cherry Hill. On the day of his 38th birthday, he was still recovering from a heart attack suffered in April of that year. Heart attack at 37. New life at 38. Hmmm...maybe life DID begin for him at 38. In my mind, however, the glaring point in all this is that, as I sit here today, I am older than my father was when he had a heart attack - right in front of me as we sat having lunch together after my little league tryouts. Of course, he was a heavy smoker and never hid the fact that he could eat sausage three meals a day...but still....I am that age now! I know this well enough without my mother reminding me every few days, "You know - you are your father's age when he had a heart attack...." I know...I know. Dad's heart attack occurred three years after his mom died after her fourth or fifth heart attack at the age of 67. I need to keep better care of myself.

When my Mom was 38, it was 1983 and I was finishing my sophomore year in high school. She had just quit smoking after a bout with bronchitis and had just bought a hot, new white Camaro Berlinetta...complete with louvers and a kick-ass stereo. Maybe life began at 38 for her too...

My birthday just does not have the same pizzazz as it used to. I certainly don't very much look forward to it anymore. The best thing about it is my kids. Last night as I put Elijah to bed, he was staring at one of his drawers and he said, "Daddy, there is a surprise for your birthday hidden in my room but I'm NOT going to tell you where it is." Meanwhile his eyes were fixated on this drawer. "Don't ask me where it is, Daddy because I am NOT telling you." This morning he ran into my room at 5:45 with three kisses on my cheek and announced he had my surprise. He handed me two drawings he had made. One is a stick figure with a big nose. It's labeled "Daddy at 38 by Elijah". ME - a STICK FIGURE!! I love him!!!! The other is a rainbow with, like, 15 colored rings. He had a big smile on his face. Then he cuddled with me and said, "You're the best 38 year old in the world." Yesterday at his doctor's appointment, he told the receptionist, "That's my dad. He's going to be 38 tomorrow. I'm only 5 and a half."

Hannah came into the bedroom around 6:45 and sang Happy Birthday to me all the way through. Then she gave me two pictures she made. One is called "Colors by Hannah". Both were done with crayons and markers and are a bunch of lines in every which direction but they are Picassos to me. They are hanging in my office today.

There were terrible thunder storms around 8pm last night and that's just when the kids go to bed. Hannah slept through the hail and everything. Elijah was scared so I brought him downstairs with me and we sat together right in front of the back sliding doors and watched the backyard get rained. We watched the lightning and heard the thunder claps. It was awesome. He sat on my lap and asked a thousand questions. "How come I can't see the thunder?" "Why is the lightning blue?" "Is my swingset going to float away?" It was one of those moments you never forget. Afterwards, he went right to sleep.

So...yes, I am 38 today. I don't feel older but I kinda look it. I'm too damn fat. Some people would say I'm not FAT, but PHAT (Pretty hot and tempting)...but those people are fatter than me so that's OK. ;-)

Maybe life does begin at 38 - who knows? Ask me next year at 39 (gulp). I'm just taking it one day and one Picasso at a time.

1 comment:

Foxxy One said...

Happy Birthday Dude! Go get some sushi and work out :)