I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve ever looked my age. Part of that is that I’ve always been small in stature, which was a blessing for both Bonnie and I growing up. We ended up behind in school but I doubt any of our classmates realized we were as much as two years older than they were. We were never the tallest kids in class and by fourth grade I was always the shortest kid.
I can distinctly remember one year our drama teacher in high school wanting to line up the whole drama club across the stage by height. He indicated tallest on one end and shortest on the other then told everyone to sort themselves out. I went to the short end then sat down and waited, with Bonnie beside me, just a tiny bit taller. There is a picture in the year book of us sitting together on the end of the stage while everyone else sorted themselves out in the yearbook.
But as we’ve gotten older I’ve realized it was more than our lack of stature but something else that made us look so young.
My youngest daughter is a good half a foot taller than I am, being the same height as her father, and people routinely mistake her for younger.
This past weekend our church held a youth conference. It was for children, in the local area we call a stake, which is a group of congregations, who were ages fourteen to eighteen years old. After the weekend was over, the president of the stake was talking to my husband and at least two of my children. One of which was my youngest daughter.
He turned to her and asked her if she was old enough to go to the youth conference and if she’d gone.
Knowing my daughter I can imagine the expression on her face as she told him. “I’m twenty.”
At some point in the conversation he turned to my husband. “Why didn’t you warn me?”
What’s even funnier is when she was younger people would mistake her, my tallest daughter, for the one in college, and ask her about it. She’s five years younger than her oldest sister and was still in middle school at the time.
When I was newly married and in fact expecting my first child, who is now twenty-five, I was talking with a lady friend who was also newly married. She had at least met my husband, so she knew both of us.
Since we were both newly married we got on the subject of having kids. She said her and her husband were going to wait at least a year. I told her we weren’t waiting, even adding that we wanted to be parents before we were thirty.
She commented something along the lines of, “You have plenty of time.”
I shook my head and told her our child was due less than three months before Jerry’s thirtieth birthday then add that I’m only six months younger than he is.
Her jaw dropped when I mentioned Jerry’s age, a man she’d only met a time or two. I wasn’t all that surprised she didn’t know how old he was. Then it dropped further when I told her how old I was, which surprised me because we’d known each other for a few years, but apparently she’d thought she was older than I was.
Too often today people are fussing and trying everything they can to look younger. Woman my age are dying their hair to hide their gray. Me? I’m over fifty. I’ve earned what little gray I’ve got and then some.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.