Staying young is easy. Work out as often as you can. Eat healthy and most important of all, never ever acknowledge a new year.
A few years ago on my birthday, I told my son that I was turning fifteen.
‘Fifteen?’ I still remember the awe in his voice. He attempted to count his fingers but fifteen was a figure way beyond his imagination.
In the subsequent years, I have repeated the same story. Fifteen I am, and fifteen I remain.
Last week, I heard him tell his sister in his cocky little way that he could count up to one hundred. He started counting and when he reached fifteen, he paused and raised his finger.
“Mummy is fifteen!”
For a moment, there was just silence and then the sister broke out into a boisterous laughter. I saw the hurt in his eyes.
“Well …” I started but wasn’t quite sure what to say. ‘I was kidding,’ ‘that’s what adults say’ all seemed a bit lame. So I told him the truth.
‘‘I am 15b!’’
His sister’s eyes almost popped out and in that moment, I knew that I had to put this down for posterity.
Aging and growing up
I learnt a long time ago that adding a number to your age is not the same as growing up. Aging and growing up are completely different things. All of us will age this year but only a few of us will grow up. Growing up comes in different forms. It might not be something concrete and yet deep down, we feel it and know it.
In my ‘growth moments’ last year, I learnt a lot of important things. Two of the things I learnt, particularly stand out.
The secret of best restaurants
We went to a fairly nice restaurant. The food was delicious and yet when we left it, we all knew one thing. We were never ever going to go back. The food they served us was so much that instead of filling our stomachs, it overwhelmed us. We had two unpleasant choices: eat too much or leave half of our plates full. On our way home, it occurred to me that all things equal, the most important thing a restaurant owner can do is to make sure to serve just the right amount of food.
Don't be a silly cow!
I had just parked in front of a supermarket when a red-haired woman driver called out to me. “Hey” she started rather pleasantly. “Are your kids with you?” she asked. I thought she was one of the parents of my daughter’s friends.
“No, “I said smiling tentatively and wishing I had invested a bit more time in getting to know all parents.
“I knew it!” she shrieked.
“This is a parking spot for parents with kids in the car” she fumed in an I-just-caught-the-worst-criminal-ever voice. I had driven around a couple of times and wasn’t sure I wanted to repeat that. “I will only be a minute!” I called out dashing into the supermarket.
A few minutes later, I came out and saw a folded piece of paper on my windscreen. My heart sank when I saw two cops just a few meters away talking to a couple. Calling cops is a sport in this part of the world.
I yanked the piece of paper and read its contents:
There are many silly cows in the world. Silly cows take away parking spots meant for parents with children. You are unfortunately a silly cow. The way to treat you out of your ‘sill cow’ status is to give you some love. I hereby send you lots of love.
The contents were printed suggesting that the lady carried a bunch around to distribute to silly cows.
I burst out laughing.