When Parents Grow Old

Nothing prepares kids for the time their parents grow old; nothing is as devastating as that. They react to it as though the parent has betrayed them. My personal take on the subject is rather like Anthony Powell’s who said “Growing old’s like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.”

My kids groan and talk down to me, they have more information and they do not hesitate or mince words when they tell me that.
It is very strange, growing old is inevitable, but the reactions are so strong against it. One has to accept it, and I do, for most part. My hinges and joints need oiling, I need my pills, my brain is chock full of old incidents and concepts, which growing information and technology has made redundant, and I can get repetitive. My kids groan and talk down to me, they have more information and they do not hesitate or mince words when they tell me that.

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6 thoughts on “When Parents Grow Old

  1. Hi Ritu… I’ve been a silent visitor here. But this post of urs with the words “They are my kids. I am aging, and they are simply unable to accept it. They are my kids, they are unable to give me the reassurance I need. Instead I have to reassure them and keep looking young and vigorous; the way my parents did for me, so that I would continue to feel secure.” make me say “VERY MUCH TRUE” I am a young mother of 2… still I cant really digest the known fact that my dad more than 70 may pass off anyday… In fact am jus wondering will my life also be the same… hmmm

    • I wish I could offer platitudes, but the truth is life wont be the same. One has to grow up. As long as parents are there, we’re kids, irrespective of our age

  2. What a sensitive post Ritu!
    It’s another kind of letting go which requires mental fortitude and a great deal of independence on the part of younger generation.Children draw their vitality from their parents, therefore the loss (of their parents’ youth) becomes theirs.
    Your older son was more angry because he’s more fearful of this reality and being the older one,somewhere feels more responsible.
    It’s a difficult dance,this passing of the responsibility gradually,so a fine balance is maintained between scaffolding and independence while the apron strings are carefully pared.

  3. And here I am planning to go for trek somewhere in himalayas before I grow too old with them.. and when I tell the my four and half year old.. he says I am not supposed to grow old and not definitely not supposed to die..
    Thats today, and I know both of them will not mince their words when I am old and redundant

    • Oh I encourage them to be honest with me. Becoming old is inevitable, but somehow, children do not want you to become redundant. They fight if you even show that you are becoming feeble and are not able to carry on the way you were a few years ago

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