My daughter passed a milestone age last week, she turned 40 years old. I’ll avoid the cliches of ‘where did that time go’, because those sorts of comments are boring.
I would like to discuss how the hell I could be the father of a 40 year old when I’m nowt but a kid myself, at the mere age of 66! When I was at school my maths teacher was ancient at about mid 40s and was in the war, and frankly looked and acted that age, possible because of the war, not despite it. Nowadays it’s not 40 that’s the new 30, 60 is the new 40; but with caveats: you may get to 60 but it doesn’t mean you can do everything you could do at 40. When I turned 40 I was at the half way point of my working life, now I should think it’s well short of half way what with later retirement ages and all. I still feel that I could pass for 40 in most aspects except for strength, energy, staying power; you name it. But at 66 I can still ‘get down with the kids’ except for anything requiring exertion! My daughter thinks I should be treating myself with kid gloves and I admit it’s difficult to pull back doing some things, but am equally grateful that there are things I still can’t do. Back in April there was a 90 year old man doing the marathon, there is nothing I would less like to do. Running is anathema to me; cavemen did it to catch prey, but in the modern age it’s only necessary to escape a deadly danger, if at all. Walking is s different matter; I love walking and could probably do it all day. But I equally love to sit down, whenever I can.
So, the question is do I feel my age? Well, yes and no. Ailments and chronic illnesses are sometimes the proof of getting older, and I admit I have a few of those without dwelling on them. So, a few minutes ago I was 40, how long will it take to get to 80, or beyond. Does anyone think about that far into the future, I don’t unless I’m discussing it in this medium. I’m not actually afraid of death, mainly because thats for other people not me. I suppose when it comes to my time, I’ll accept it’s the end, but like most people I don’t want to think about that time. It’ll happen whatever I do.
Right, maudling bit over, back to the subject. When my daughter was born, in a military hospital, she was my first born and very special as all new borns are to all new parents. We have a great though sometimes sparky relationship because we are so close in personality. No influence from me and that’s what I find interesting; is it in the genes? I am, in deference to my surname, very handy with my hands, so is my daughter (I should say ‘eldest’ daughter because she has a younger sister), and so was my dad. I don’t remember my dad specifically teaching me woodwork, electrics, mechanical repairs etc but I must have been taking notice when he was doing these things, and they must have rubbed off. Likewise my daughter has the same attributes and also picks things far quicker than I remember doing the same. I’m proud that she is good at most practical things and having moved recently into her new house she has lots of work to do, all requiring the aforementioned skills. So the image of being 40 had changed over the years. We’re all living longer, so 40 is more likely to be middle age, where it was 35 years ago. 35 is hardly run-in!
But back to Charlotte, my 40 year old daughter, whose birth I remember so clearly and who has made her way so well in the world. I’m so proud of what she’s achieved on her own, and she has created a lovely life for herself. Rock on babe! X