The first thing that reminded me of my age Friday night was the fact that every person under the age of 25 looked at me a little strangely when I walked up to the football field carrying my bright blue Snuggie under my arm.
The second age indicator for me that night was the soreness that resulted from sitting on bleachers for a few hours. I mean REAL soreness.
Thirdly, I noticed that the cheerleaders’ skirts were completely straight with no cute little pleats. Also, there were no spirit fingers at the game. What’s cheerleading without spirit fingers?
Lastly, I realized that I was watching Liz, my former stepdaughter, cheering her cute little heart out on the senior high cheerleading squad. This is the same Liz who shivered after climbing out of the swimming pool at her niece Kaitlin’s birthday party when she was three years old, letting me wrap her up like a caterpillar in a beach towel caccoon. The same Liz who wrote the Tooth Fairy a letter after losing her first tooth. The same Liz who I taught to make macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This is the same Liz who caused me to cry when she walked into middle school for the first time, wearing the bravest face.
And there she was Friday night, in all her 5’10” glory, looking beautiful and precious (of course), amazing me with her talent and amusing me with her consistent sense of humor.
I’m definitely officially old.
The thing is, I don’t mind. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to sit still and watch someone who is irreplaceable in my life for over three hours. Every time she looked at me and smiled, I felt the same way I felt watching her do Tae Kwon Do in elementary school. Proud to the point of tears.
Getting old isn’t so bad. With every year that passes, the love in my life just grows a little larger.