Dying With Your Boots On
I am reminded of one of my daughter’s favorite movies: Secondhand Lions – a little known flick about two eccentric older men raising their great-nephew who grows up to write a comic strip about the antics of his life with the men that raised him. The story unfolds and at times my heart broke but mostly, I laughed and cheered because the message was to live your life and die with your boots on. Go out having fun whether you’re 40 or 90.
In our small village in upstate New York, we recently had a group of friends over. Clif would have been there telling us about a recent climb, an upcoming climb or his marathon training. Afterwards, my husband and I were sitting at the dinner table with our 15-year old daughter talking about the party and looking at old photo albums. She was particularly interested in the pictures from the mid to late 1980’s. As she turned the pages, she would look at the pictures and then at us and say “wow, mom and dad you were really hot when you were young.” That was a complement, right? Then she delivered the coup de grace: “I kept thinking that you both were just middle-aged parents having cocktail parties for old people.” A friend once told me that God makes your kids look like you so when you feel like throwing them out the window, you think twice. “Ensures the survival of the species,” she said.
I started thinking about my daughter’s comments and later turned to my husband and said “we need to have more fun as a family.” But how do we all have fun together when we have such diverse interests? My husband likes to fly planes, ride his Harley, scuba dive – pretty much anything that has an element of danger to it. I prefer to run, bike, read, write, bake and cook – pretty much anything that keeps me close to the ground. My daughter prefers sleeping late, reading, music, swimming, and being with her friends. No common denominator there.