As I get older, one person seems particularly upset about my aging progression.
No, it’s not my wife. She actually doesn’t seem much bothered by me aging as she is very much more concerned about looking youthful herself.
No, it’s not my kids. In fact, they would prefer for me to act and look older as they enter their early adulthood. They get annoyed if I fit into their clothes or am mistaken as an older brother. Not cool.
No, it’s not me. I’ve seen a lot worse cases of mid-life crisis than myself.
It’s my mother. She notices my every new wrinkle, my receding hairline and each new limp. She tells me that each new gray hair on me exaggerates her own gray hairs, and each new winkle exaggerates her own winkles. After all, I’m her son. How can I get old? It’s a reflection on her. Of course, she says all this with a sharp sense of humor, but the tinge of truth is unmistakable.
Then, she tells the story of how a few generations ago in Korea, when an elderly grandmother lived too long beyond the means of the family, her son was obligated to carry his mother piggyback deep into the forest to drop her off to die so the family could survive. Along the way from his back, she, knowing full well her pending fate, would break small branches on the trails so that her son wouldn’t get lost on his way back home. “That grandmother wouldn’t be much older than YOUR age now,” she concludes, breaking into a playful laugh. “See, how old does that make ME feel?” she asks accusingly.
Mothers! They can make you feel guilty about anything.