At some point we will all become superfluous. I hope that will happen later than sooner; like the ageless Daniel Schorr of NPR. Or maybe a minute before my ninety-fifth birthday. But that's the intellectual side. Your brain, being an organ, will work well into your old age. But your brain is only one part. A person has many different functions in their lifetime. These functions begin, mature and eventually are cast off as they either can't or don't work. For example, I was an athlete as a young person.. .I competed and did quite well, thank you. As I aged, I discarded this big part of me not because the muscles atrophied, but because other interests and responsibilities took its place.
I have been a father for a long time. I intellectually know that my job is to train Av and Si to be mature, responsible adults. Intellectually I also know that they will master the tricks of this maturing over a timeframe that has already begun. Just as I no longer have to help them stand up after they learned how to walk, I now no longer have to row the boat across Lake Bled. Av and Si did this while lisa and I sat on our butts. But I'm supposed to do that, my brain said. It's my job. It's also one that I could do and no one else could. You see lisa has a bad back and it would be stupid for her to row while I am around. It also is something I liked to do. Now “they” are doing it instead.
I also somewhat relinquished my role as “technology Dad” by having the girls figure out how to set up the DVD players in our apartments. Avocet has taken an interest in taking pictures and now says “hey, I set the time on your camera to match “Athens-Helsinski” time. What? What's she talking about? I introduced her to the camera just a couple of weeks ago. How can she know that? Well, I guess I'm glad I can take a better picture at night, right? Nah, she showed me a pictute taken showing a candle on a table at the sidwalk cafe with lights showing on the bridge in the background. Rats, foiled again!!
Siena now washes the dishes. Avocet and Siena pack their own suitcases. I'm just a superfluous father. Oops, I just figured out that I can carry the thirty pound suitcases up and down the several flights of stairs. Thank God, something I'm still needed for.