There’s over the hill and there’s way over the hill

Emmitt B. Feldner • forThe Review

How old does it make you when your youngest child is about to go over the hill?

Our youngest, Alex, just celebrated his 29th birthday last week, which is why I ask.

All right, it’s just the first of many over-the-hills Alex is facing, but it’s still a valid question – not that I really want to know the answer.

When I was growing up, one of the rallying cries was “Don’t trust anyone over 30!”

Of course, a lot of the people who were yelling that and printing it on posters and t-shirts were over 30 themselves, but that didn’t seem to matter.

If they were right, that means I’ve got less than one year left to trust Alex – not that I trust him all that much anyone, having known him all these years.

As I eventually discovered, sometime in mid-1980s, there is no magic relationship between trust and age, at least not the age of 30.

I later found the same was true for 40, 50 and 60.

Along with not being trustworthy, from my vantage point at that time someone who was 30 certainly seemed to be over the hill as well – one more misconception I was disabused of when I reached that milestone, as well as 40, 50 and … well, you know the rest.

It’s probably also another sign that I’m getting old to recall that this column began as a result of “old” Alex being a newborn baby.

I wrote several humorous articles – at least, I thought they were humorous – about being back in the baby business when Alex was born.

It had been five years since our last child, so we soon found out that have a baby around really is like riding a bicycle – once you learn how, you never forget, as I wrote back then.

I should have added that you keep trying to forget, but somehow you can’t.

Those articles grew into a weekly column called “Father’s Daze.”

I figured it would only last a few years or so before I ran out of material or people got sick of reading it – wrong again.

Now it’s more often grandfather’s daze, but I’m still a father as well, so the name remains the same.

While very often we couldn’t wait for our children to grow up back then, these days I’d probably appreciate it more if they wouldn’t grow any older – so maybe I wouldn’t either.

But it doesn’t work that way – unless you’re Jack Benny and you get to stay 39 forever, but then again that didn’t really work for him either.

It just means in another year we’ll have two 30-something sons, since Ethan went over that hill several years ago.

And then in half-a-dozen years or so, we’ll learn if we can trust a son over 40.

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