Sometimes when I was a little boy and would get angry my father would tell me to punch the palm of his hand.
So I would take a few swings and then look at his face expecting to see him wince. I never wanted to hurt him but I wanted him to feel the force of my mighty punch.
Because when you are eight and swinging with all you have got you want to know something came from it.
He never changed his expression from the contact between our hands though he did ask if I felt better and would tell me to tell him why I was angry.
Once during those last few months of his life I asked him if I could punch his hand.
“I might be able to knock the cancer right out of you. Don’t know if you don’t try.”
He told me we were beyond those days and I nodded my head and then we sat together comfortable in shared silence.
There were stories that we shared during those moments, some that we both knew and others than hadn’t been expressed between us.
I don’ think I got to tell him about the mysterious plant at the front door that was supposed to serve as a nice surprise for someone who was having a hard time.
Or maybe I did, some of those moments are still a bit blurry.
I have heard some stories about guys around my age who have gotten married a second or third time to women who are about twenty years younger.
Stories about how some of these guys are starting families and thought about what that would be like now.
Women who are around twenty years younger than we are now can be hitting their mid thirties and depending on their interest in motherhood they might be ready to start having kids pretty quickly.
So some of these guys in their fifties can easily find themselves with an infant and toddler or two. If that is what you want and you can take care of young children there is nothing wrong with it.
I figure I could do it if I wanted to but I am not looking to go that route. I miss some of the activities and things that come with younger kids.
It was fun coaching and watching my children grow but there is also something nice about hitting a place where I can begin to focus on my life again. A place where I can consider what I am passionate about and what retirement could be.
There may be no guarantee that I’ll be grandpa one day but I think it is pretty likely.
Suppose I thought about it in some ways because 10/7, that Black Shabbat isn’t far from my mind. Nor is the idea about how many Jews would be here today were it not for the Holocaust.
So the idea of being part of the baby boom has some intrigue and sense of responsibility to it. But then again, my responsibility can be fulfilled in other ways.
That is kind of a surreal thought, the knowledge that your days of thinking about more kids are over. It hasn’t been something I have seriously thought about for a long while but given where things are at I think it is more real now than it once was.
I received a couple of very cool compliments during the last week that I am quite proud of. It might be rude to mention them without sharing details but I’ll take that risk.
The point isn’t to pat myself on the back but to use them as a writing cue about where I want to take this post.
Because some of it came from an “I’ll wear you down” mentality and approach.
I go back and forth on whether I want to be able to say that because part of me doesn’t want to have to wear anyone down for anything.
Love me, hate me, work with me, whatever- it shouldn’t come because I had to wear you down.
However there is a part of me that understands the fight against inertia and sometimes we have to keep knocking at the door because people don’t want to move from their space.
Sometimes it is because of fear, sometimes because they blame you unfairly for things and sometimes it is just because.
So you have to keep smiling and keep knocking because there are people/things/places that are worth the effort.
Sometimes you have to work for the reward.
My diet hasn’t been great lately and my workout hasn’t had the kind of structure that I had been applying for all of the summer and fall.
I have felt it physically and have begun to push back against it differently than I had been.
There are legitimate reasons for why things got a little off track and I have done my best not to beat myself up about it.
Today I surprised myself with the iron I was able to throw around and that made me smile. Because the little boy who didn’t want to hurt his father but still wanted his dad to say ow when he struck his hand is inside.
I felt raw power like I haven’t felt in a while and that was enough.
That was the reminder that hard work can help course correct and I am on the right path. Now I just need to focus and keep going as I am.
Good things will come from it.