29 July 2014

Yesterday during breakfast my 85 year old father explained his method of getting on his new bicycle without too much pain in his knees. I haven't seen him do it but it sounds practical and possible but then again, he has always been a convincing public speaker.
It takes him several minutes to get in or out of my car and only if I help lift his feet in their enormously large shoes (hand tooled from best leather no less). Once on solid ground he totters along with his walking sticks which he will use frequently to point out some architecturally or otherwise culturally or historically important landmark whereupon he will deliver one of his lectures.  This he usually ends with a slight grin asking me to check on my laptop if they got it right as well. He believes that there is some shady pretend authority that feeds my laptop from some obscure place with information.
Sometimes I think he's got a point there.
He tells me that he recently bought a book that explains computer basics to ordinary people - to catch up on the vocabulary for the crosswords - but it was so poorly written that he dismissed it after the first couple of pages.
In moments like these I feel a great tenderness for him but obviously, it would be out of the question to show even the slightest hint. Tenderness is not part of his repertoire. At least not with his children and certainly not when they try to explain something to him. After all, he paid for our education and can recite the Iliad in ancient Greek. That way we all know where our places are in the order of things.


  1. My father paid for my education, and made sure I never forgot it! But he couldn't quote the Illiad!

  2. If you feel it, show it. He might appreciate it and add it to his repertoire.

  3. As we age, I think we just grow more and more into what we've always been.
    Reassuring AND frightening.