I’m now officially old.
I know, everyone will roll their eyes. How can I be old? I don’t look old. People younger than I look years older than I do. I don’t act old. There are people who now have tattoos who wouldn’t if it were not for my influence.
But I’m old. Yesterday, I proudly put on my rear windshield the obligatory sticker: Guilford Dad.
I could have chosen just a plain Guilford decal, or one that said Guilford College, or one that had their new oak tree logo next to the name. But with a strange feeling in my stomach, I bought the one that says what I am: Guilford Dad.
I’m not as old as the doctor from Louisville, 73, who has seven sons: the oldest is 41 and the youngest, 18, now at Guilford. This is a man who obviously does not know when to quit.
But I’m old enough to be qualified by a rear window decal: Dad. Someone who is old enough to send an ungodly amount of money to a wonderful college to educate his son. And clearly someone who is proud of his son for making it possible for him to send an ungodly amount of money to this institution.
Yes, he slacked his way through high school, preferring to come from behind for a finish that was “good enough,” and I’m worried sick that he has shortchanged himself in preparation for the tough courses ahead of him, but he’s smart, he’s funny, he’s kind, and he’s good. He’ll be okay. He’ll be better than okay. Of course, if he would email or call, I’d know right now how okay he was. See, I am old.
I feel like Monet in his garden, or Charles Ives after he quit composing. I don’t know why; their old age issues had nothing to do with sons. They just spring to mind. With any luck, I can be Monet and keep working, instead of Ives, who didn’t.