Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm a Man! I'm 30! I'm not a Kid!

(Sorry, that's an allusion to Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.)

I turned 30 yesterday.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not moping around worrying about my rapidly aging body, and I'm not about to buy a motorcycle or plan to scale Mount Everest. (Although I did just get an XBox 360 and Guitar Hero. Perhaps that is my fountain of youth.)

I remember when my parents were 34 and 35. They were OLD. Now I'm almost that old.

I also remember when my sister Erin was Zack's age. So, for the first time, it's easy for me to put myself in my parents' shoes in a stage of life that I can remember. Obviously, my parents were 10 once. They were 20 once. But I remember when they were in their 30s with small kids. When my parents were my age--I was Zack's age. (Well, Meghan was Zack's age.)

So, turning 30 is like starting a new chapter in life. I'm not a kid any more--I'm a father. (Soon to be a father of 2.) I no longer think in terms of "what will I be doing in 10 years," but in terms of "what will Zack be doing in 10 years?" It's strange how life changes you.

Our culture makes light of growing older. On television, especially, characters often go through identity crises as they hit "big" numbers like 30, 40, 50, or 60. It's like there is a clock ticking, and you only have so many years to get in everything that you want to do. You should have as much fun as possible when you're young because when you're old you can't do all the stuff you want to do.

But I don't feel any of that. Maybe I'm starting to think of life in terms of cycles. You have the kid phase. Then you have the parent phase. Then you have the grandparent phase. If you're lucky you get the great-grandparent phase. I suspect that each phase is as wonderful as the last one--filled with wonder as the next generation comes to life and the cycle continues.

I always tell people that best thing about having a kid is that you get to live life over again. We took Zack to the zoo, and he was captivated by a walrus. When was the last time I stood awestruck at a walrus? When you have kids, you get to experience the wonder and mystery of life over again as your kids experience it for the first time. It's the next phase in the cycle.

People keep asking me if I feel older because I'm 30.

Yes, I do.

But that's not a bad thing.


APBarger said...

Congrats Matte. On being 30, and of course on being a father of two. I still need to meet the first!

Danielle said...

Hey Matt- congratulations to both of you guys on expecting a new baby! When is the due date? Very exciting news. And I agree with Adam- we would love to meet the first one!!