Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I am too old

Have never played football in my life, but that doesn't deter me from kicking a ball around with my kids when they ask me to. Today was one of those days- the older one decided that football was the best way to beat the boredom of waiting for the school bus to come, and even though I was dressed for work, I joined him in an imprompto game of who can kick the ball the most.

It was hard to tell which of us was enjoying the session more, and pretty soon, the younger one and his friend joined in too. There were a few others who were also waiting for their respective school buses to pick them up, but we were having too much fun to really pay much attention to any of them.

Almost too soon, the school bus arrived, putting an end to the game. On the way home, another mother caught up with me. "It is so wonderful when you have children early", she said. "You have the stamina to keep up with your kids. I have never been able to play football with my son."
"Why, how old are you?", I asked. I know her son is older than mine, but I always thought she was about my age.
"I was 28 when I had my child", she replied.
I did the maths in my head- not only had she been four years younger than me when she had her first child, she was a year or two younger than me.
"You are in your mid-thirties", I told her. "Definitely young enough to play football, if your son lets you."
"How can I play football?" Her voice was wistful. "What will people think?"

I really had nothing to say to her. Had I told her I was older than her, it would only have made her feel worse, so I kept quiet.

I can only feel sorry for a person who seems to define herself by what she cannot do!
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Manasi said...

like they say - "the only limits are always those of vision..."

keep kicking, my friend... the ball will take you far!

Jan Morrison said...

gosh - too old in her thirties - I'm fifty-eight and I play outside with my grandkids - I huff and puff and they let me win some but I play. I think she is mistaken - she's not too old - she's too young to understand that being caught playing is a good thing - she is like a teenager wanting to swing on the swings but too afraid of what others might say. Being able to move and play and engage - that's what keeps me as young as I am - and you too I bet!

Ann Elle Altman said...

That is really sad. And so limiting. I hate when people say things like that, I have so many friends like that who say, oh, I wish I was like you. I always want to say, than do those things.


Watery Tart said...

It's sad some people feel so restrained by society. I was 28 when my first was born. There have been times I wasn't fit enough to keep up, but there was never an acceptance that that was okay. Mostly now I embarrass them by acting much younger than they are (teens and tweens feel obliged to act mature)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Holy cow! I'm in my mid-forties, and I would've been out there kicking the ball. Then again, I'm young at heart, free-spirited, and don't care what others think...

So sad for that woman.

Anonymous said...

I play all sorts of games of hide and seek and chase with my kids who are 6.5 and 8!! Oh - and I'm 50!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

The best thing about the internet is that it manages to get like minded people together. I can't imagine something as silly as 'age' coming in the way of something I want to do, and am so glad to see that I am not the only one who things so. Here's to all of us, because we know how to live life.

@ Manasi - thanks. And so true.

@ Jan - I don't see you doing anything else. And yes, even when I am old and my joints are creaking (and I hope that isn't anytime in the next 38 years), I hope to be kicking a ball too.

@ Ann - quite true. If people want to be like you, what is stopping them apart from their own inhibitions?

@ Tami - Precisely. Five years back, when I was less fit than I am now, I had trouble keeping up, but I did something about it, I didn't just say it is okay. And I can see how Things 1 & 2 may be just a bit embarassed with having our favourite Tart as their mother. Good for them to get used to it, though.

@ Diane - welcome to the blog. And it is great to be young at heart, isn't it?

@ Fiona - I wish I could tell her that!

dipali said...

38 was when I was teaching my youngest kid to play badminton, under a street light, on the road near our home.
39 was teaching him table tennis on a table almost as tall as he was. Was riding my older son's bike well into my forties.
I'm not particularly athletic or competitive, but while at a company do at a resort, was challenged to a TT match and took great pleasure in trouncing my challenger.
I believe in keeping the body and mind as active as possible.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Dipali - and a couple of years down the line, I totally see you teaching your grandchildren to play badminton and TT.

dipali said...

Hope so! But one expedition to Orchcha a couple of years left me with severely aching knees- the steps in the ruins were way too steep for my oldness:(
I really admire my husband's aunt who is eighty now- at her grandsons's wedding last year she danced mightily in the baraat! That;s the spirit:)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Dipali, I have nothing but admiration for someone like your aunt. Not just because she danced, but because of the spirit that made her do it.


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