My 2 year old takes swim lessons. They’re 15 minutes long with a private instructor and I sit by the side and watch. I sit by the side and watch. When did I get old enough to sit by the side and watch someone take swim lessons? I still remember my own mother coming to my soccer or lacrosse games. I played. She watched. Rooting with the other parents – the other old parents. Observers rather than participators. In my youth, it never occurred to me that I would ever be relegated to the sidelines. I see now how young my mother was and wonder if, watching me, she felt the same.
It struck me yesterday as I observed my own child, I’m not ready to be benched for good. I don’t feel as old as the woman wearing my skin. But what can I do? It’s not my turn anymore. It’s their turn to play and win and fall and learn. And it’s my job to sit there and watch as they do it.
I don’t want to grow old.