How this little girl changed my perspective on aging.

@TheHorse (177287)
Walnut Creek, California
January 28, 2023 11:58am CST
Growing older isn't fun. My back hurts. I have to wear glasses to read. In softball, I can't hit for power like I used to. I think the little girl in this photo may become a Rabbi when she grows up. She is very serious, and a delight to talk to. She and I were very much attached when I worked at the Jewish preschool in Berkeley. We would sit around and have philosophical discussions. When she was three or four, she said, "I love this" and grabbed my "wattle." My wattle is the flap of skin that hangs down beneath my chin. I have a smooth face for an old guy. My sagging skin all descends to my wattle. Once I told her that my flap of skin is called a "wattle," she added, " I want to marry your wattle." I said, "If you married my wattle, you'd have to marry all of me. My wattle in a bottle on your dresser would be kind of gross." A week or two later, the little girl's mother said to me, "Chanah wants to marry your wattle. What's a wattle?" I think she was worried. I showed her my wattle. Chanah was there. Chanah said, "My mommy has a little wattle, but yours is the best." Her mommy and I looked at each other, deadpan. My interactions with Chanah taught me that beauty really is subjective. I am sometimes "ashamed" of being old. I would like to have my 27-year-old body back, accompanied by the wisdom of an 80-year-old. Chanah taught me that there is beauty in being older, even if she doesn't yet know the word "metaphor." I am forever thankful to her for that.
20 people like this
20 responses
@LadyDuck (429731)
• Switzerland
29 Jan
This lovely little girl is smarter than many adult people.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (429731)
• Switzerland
29 Jan
@TheHorse - She is very pretty. Today my niece was discharged by the hospital and goes back home with her baby boy. I am curious to know the reaction of her 3 years old girl.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
@LadyDuck I would expect hugs and kisses.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
She seems to have what they sometimes call an "old soul." I adore her.
2 people like this
@spiderdust (14370)
• San Jose, California
28 Jan
I'm getting a bit of a "waffle" myself.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
You've made me hungry.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
@spiderdust I do. But I will not pour it on your wattle.
2 people like this
@spiderdust (14370)
• San Jose, California
28 Jan
@TheHorse I think I've made myself hungry too. I wonder if I have maple syrup in the pantry...
2 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (41240)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
29 Jan
I'd like my 30-something body back... heck... even my 60 year old body worked better than this my (almost) 70 year old one.
2 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (41240)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
29 Jan
@TheHorse Cycling definitely counts as exercise. I wish I could still do it, but with my balance being off, I'd probably fall as soon as I got out of the gate.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
One thing I'm happy about. My "rough patch" has forced me to do a lot of cycling recently. Cycling does NOT hurt. And I think it counts as exercise.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
@BarBaraPrz Got it. Is there anything you can do for balance issues?
2 people like this
@kaylachan (43274)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
28 Jan
Sometimes kids are smarter than you give them credit for. Their insites on life are priceless.
2 people like this
@kaylachan (43274)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
28 Jan
@TheHorse I do too, Or I did when I was around kids.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
@kaylachan They speak the truth.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
Yep. I listen to them closely.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (305350)
• Rockingham, Australia
29 Jan
I'm not so much ashamed as grieving that I can't do what I used to.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
@JudyEv Hint: Remember that some "wise" person, I think it was Socrates, said: "He is wise who knows he knows nothing," or something like that.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
I may be grieving as well. But I DO feel "wise."
2 people like this
@JudyEv (305350)
• Rockingham, Australia
29 Jan
@TheHorse I don't!
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (85667)
• Atlanta, Georgia
29 Jan
Sometimes I think kids are smarter than adults.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
Their natural curiosity has not yet been thwarted.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
30 Jan
@RubyHawk I think so too.
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (85667)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 Jan
@TheHorse Littleones show their true feelings.
2 people like this
@FourWalls (53265)
• United States
28 Jan
If it looks like a duck and wattles like a duckā€¦. That is a sweet story.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
I may have told her that if I were a turkey, my wattle would be a sign of great power.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Jan
Yeah.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
@popciclecold Turkeys are like cows. They make me smile.
2 people like this
@marlina (155332)
• Canada
29 Jan
So cute
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
She is a delightful human being. I haven't seen her in about three years!
1 person likes this
@aninditasen (13343)
• Raurkela, India
29 Jan
I still don't have that wattle under my chin. My skin is still tight, though I am old. Good your little friend taught you how to accept aging.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
She is a wonderful kid.
2 people like this
@aninditasen (13343)
• Raurkela, India
30 Jan
@TheHorse Yes, she is to talk such cute things.
@nela13 (53465)
• Portugal
29 Jan
What a wonderful little girl.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
She was a delight to "work" with.
2 people like this
@LindaOHio (116447)
• United States
29 Jan
I think just when you think that you can't learn something new, the littles teach you something else.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
They are wonderful in that way. Their honesty is refreshing.
2 people like this
@arunima25 (79583)
• Bangalore, India
29 Jan
That's a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it. Children are greatest teachers. They convey such deep thinking with so much simplicity.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
Exactly!
2 people like this
@arunima25 (79583)
• Bangalore, India
30 Jan
@florelway (22763)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
28 Jan
What a smart cute girl. Is she the girlfriend you mentioned? At 61 I still have fine skin but I see some small warts which I will now call wattle lol.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
She is not the "girlfriend" I have mentioned in other posts.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
@florelway My most recent "girlfriend" is 9-months-old.
1 person likes this
@florelway (22763)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
29 Jan
@TheHorse I just thought it's her.
2 people like this
@MarieCoyle (14022)
28 Jan
We can learn so much from children. One of my grandsons was struggling a bit with some 5th grade math. His Dad (my son) tried to help him with it, and so did his Mom and the teacher. I think it just frustrated him, he is a straight A student and a smart fellow. Anyway, the teacher was planning speakers for a parent/grandparent day for the kids. My grandson asked if I could be one of the speakers! Me?? (I didn't hear about this until later) The teacher asked, what is her specialty, what would your Grandma talk about? And grandson said, she is the smartest person I know. She can do so much. When something is wrong, or we can't figure something out, we ask my Grandma. If she doesn't know the answer, she finds someone who does. And she has sense, and she would know this math stuff is just really dumb and silly. Ah, kids, and the faith they can have in us. It often humbles me. Enjoy that little one and learn from each other. In a world full of stress, let her marry your wattle.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
I take it you didn't have to speak?
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
@MarieCoyle Heh. I actually love teaching math to kids. I am good at making it fun, not a pain in the neck.
2 people like this
@MarieCoyle (14022)
29 Jan
@TheHorse Good one, Pony. Yes, they had me speak, twice. I took a few notes and didn't really use them. I told the kids who I was, about my family and all of my working years, and asked for questions. I was also told by pretty much every kid that they absolutely hated math, and could I please tell the teacher how dumb it was? Well, I explained that all out to my best ability, and then they wanted to know if I could be the substitute teacher when the teacher leaves to have her baby.... best compliment I have had in a long time! It was so much fun. One little fellow wanted my phone number! I told him I wasn't allowed to do that, but I have a feeling he will just use my grandson's phone and call me, as they are friends.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (150556)
• United States
29 Jan
What a lovely story and experience!!
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
It really was a fun experience.
1 person likes this
@popciclecold (32492)
• United States
28 Jan
Aww, Now that is so precious. You will never forget that.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan
@TheHorse No you won't.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
@popciclecold I hope she remembers at some level as well.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
I will never forget our interactions.
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (73768)
• Marion, Ohio
29 Jan
She sounds like a lovely child
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
I hope she continues to do well. Perhaps I will give her piano lessons some day.
2 people like this
@RasmaSandra (62936)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
28 Jan
Glad she is such a smart little girl and made you feel better. I think the Lord every day for my health and if I do not look in the mirror I forget all about how time has flown I only get a little startled when I look in the mirror but as long as I still recognize it's me I am all right with that,
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
I am thankful for my health as well.
2 people like this
@andriaperry (117434)
• Anniston, Alabama
29 Jan
I love this post.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Jan
I am glad you love this post. I love life. And I am afraid to lose it right now. But I will not delete this post.
1 person likes this
@yoalldudes (34052)
• Philippines
28 Jan
Such a cute story, made me laugh. When we are happy, we are youthful. Society is what makes us hate ourselves for almost everything.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (177287)
• Walnut Creek, California
28 Jan
I think I enjoy working with kids because they are not jaded yet. Selfish, yes. Mio mio mio! But not jaded.
1 person likes this