Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Old Mom and the Sea

Mark the date on your calendars. It happened. Corban called me “old” today. At seven years old, he doesn't understand the manners aspect of this, the incorrectness, the loaded meaning, the implication. Why is that such a difficult thing to hear? Maybe it punctures my self-perception. What did he mean? Was he referring to my age? How I look? This gave me pause as I considered this new label from Corban. I poked hopefully at this word, "old," looking for something positive to soothe my self-image.

And this brings us to a book I finished reading a bit ago, “The Old Man and the Sea” (which I also thought would make a smashingly clever title for this blog post). Hemingway is not my favorite author, but stepping outside my typical literary fare recently, I reluctantly opened the book. Seriously, how interesting could a book about men fishing in Cuba be? It surprised me to find a deeper message that touches us all. It's really a story about a man who travels far away to find what he thinks he needs, and then comes home to find that what he wants is right there.

Maybe part of getting “old” is recognizing that life isn't about having what you want, but wanting what you have. Or, maybe being "old" hints at those things of comfort we surround ourselves with and keep coming back to. Thus, I choose to believe that when my youngest son calls me “old,” it has less to do with age than it does with wisdom and with precious and treasured comfort and familiarity. Thank you, Corban. What a gracious compliment from a seven-year-old. I, too, have come home today and found right where I want to be.


Peggy Johnstone said...

For anyone who has joined us on our walks, this picture was taken in Duncan's Woods. It's one of our favorite places to walk as a family.

Sydney said...

I need to take a lesson from you on this one. It's where I need to be thinking, and I'm having trouble getting there... with grace.