Ok, now before I get going on this I just want to say, I don’t want a bunch of flack from people older than me telling me that I am not old and what not. I know, I know! I am still young; only 29! But we are all getting older and the revelation of that hit me hard in the face yesterday…
Terrance, Clinton and I were on our way to dinner. I was driving Beth Uriel‘s bakkie was stopped at the traffic light with the window down. A young boy (maybe 14-ish) approached my window and asked for money, “Pa. Het Pa nie a fifty cent vir my nie?” (Father. Doesn’t father have fifty cents for me?” Ok, now I have only recently gotten used to the concept that the kids seem to be getting younger and younger (yes, not me getting older and older) and many have begun to call me “uncle”. At first it was weird as I moved from the “brother” territory into the older, more mature “uncle” territory. I mean, you get some young uncles out there. For instance, if I had a kid, my youngest brother Eli would be a ten-year-old uncle. I can deal with being a young uncle.
But being referred to as “Pa” was a totally new sphere of reality!! Am I really that old, that a teenage kid would call me “Pa”?! I figured, he checked my beard, which admittedly adds a good ten years to my looks, and maybe the wrinkles and creases around my eyes from the previous few years’ stresses, and he took me for a forty or fifty year old. I told him I did not have “a fifty cents” for him but expressed my thoughts to my fellow passengers, “Do I look THAT old?!” They thought so. Most especially Clinton! I called the kid back to my car window.
“How old do I look?” I waited for him to say fifty or seventy-two (like a kid at the school I teach at said the other day), to justify him, being a teenager, thinking that it was actually possible for me to be old enough to be referred to as “Pa”. He laughed out loud and shifted his head from side to side, as one would do when trying to figure out a price of something at a market, and said, “Thirty!” Well, that confirmed it. He did not think I was way older than my age and my beard did not deceive him. He thought I was the very age I am (minus a few months) and still thought it was appropriate to call me “Pa”. Well…ok. I will try and gracefully accept this.