Every child worries about the moment when it becomes crystal clear that his parents are senile. When that moment comes, you realize your parents probably shouldn’t be doing much of anything on their own anymore…shouldn’t be traveling on their own (especially driving a car), shouldn’t be left alone with their grandkids, and shouldn’t even be allowed to make their own decisions on major purchases—TVs, phones, furniture.
Just to be clear, I’m using the word “senile” in a generic sense to represent any incident where you would naturally mutter under your breath, “Jesus, Mom is losing her friggen mind.”
For instance, my parents probably first said those words about my grandmother 16 years ago when they got home from a vacation and I told them that while watching me and my brothers: A) Grandma tried to give me a sponge bath in our sink…I was 14 years old, and B) Grandma backed her gigantic white Lincoln town car into the side of the garage. It was her last time she was ever allowed to be alone with her grandkids.
Another example is when my grandfather tried to plow our driveway after a snow storm, only he plowed our front lawn instead of the driveway. After that incident, my Dad bought a few extra shovels and we cleared the driveway off as a family after each storm.
It might seem a bit early to be calling my parents senile, but today I discovered two pieces of damning evidence to support that theory:
1). My mom apparently showed up to Logan Airport for her flight to San Francisco about 14 hours early, having forgotten to check the AM/PM designation next to the flight time.
2). I found this at my Dad’s house:
It’s roughly the size of the first computer ever invented, it’s heavier than my 17-inch laptop, and I’m pretty sure a blind person could see those numbers. What causes someone to need a calculator that requires him to use an entire fist to punch in each number?
Maybe these incidents aren’t as outrageous as grandma almost driving her car through the garage or grandpa plowing an entire front lawn, but it feels like we’re heading down that path. And I don’t think me or my brothers are ready to move back to Fitchburg and be full-time caretakers.