A few months ago, I found my first three gray hairs. I looked at them for a moment, a little uncertain. Was I supposed to start screaming about the aging process? Should I go buy a bottle of dye and start a process that will be sure to give me lots of writing material? Did it even really matter?
To tell you the truth, my first reaction to having gray hair is something like relief: I have made it this far!
Before you think my other name is Pollyanna, you should know that I'm not an eternal optimist. Though I have a good dose of positive energy in me, I also have an equal amount of cynic. The fact that I'm here, now, married to a guy who I dubbed "Prince Charming" years ago, with two lovely little girls and a little boy on the way, amazes me.
What, I wonder, did I do to deserve this?
Nothing. Not a thing. Nada.
Those gray hairs are testimony to God's grace in my life. They remind me that I might just live to a ripe old age and see the kids of my grandkids. I might have a chance to tell plenty of stories sitting in a rocking chair, beside a handsome graying bearded man, while the fireflies dance away from small children chasing them.
In the gray hairs on my head, I have proof that perhaps I have finally reached that elusive state known as "Grown Up."
Yes, I think I was a bit excited about those gray hairs. Maybe it's because my hair is blonding in the summer sun and no one else can tell they're there. Maybe it's because I'm married to a man who sports quite a bit of silver in his beard and hair.
Maybe, finally, I can start to feel more like her, not like a kid imposter in an adult's life. Maybe I can speak with authority that comes from experience and doesn't fit like someone else's oversized shoes.
There are worse things than gray hair, and I'm going to work on remembering that as I find more of them. More than anything, maybe those gray hairs are a reminder to me to act my age, without sacrificing the laughter and joy of it. I may be closer to meeting my Maker, but that's not something to regret. I may be showing signs of age, but I've been longing to not be carded when I buy beer for years.
Instead of bemoaning the gray hair (and other signs of aging), I'm going to try embracing the prompt to thank God for the many blessings in my life.
Copyright 2010 Sarah Reinhard
About the Author
When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.