Sometimes, if we are careful, it is possible to find little nuggets of wisdom scattered among the digital detritus on the internet.
I found such an item recently. It stated, “Be good to your nieces and nephews. One day you’ll need them to smuggle alcohol into your nursing home.”
This strikes me as excellent advice.
I can think of a lot of good reasons for not having children.
However, I admit there may be some benefits that accrue to people who do have children.
For example, people like me who have no offspring may end up finishing their life’s journey alone.
In my case, I could come to a quiet end at home some day. If I disappear from circulation for a long enough period, it may occur to someone to investigate, and, when they do, they’ll find my cold, lifeless body in my residence.
That is, of course, if the cats haven’t taken to feasting on me by then. I wouldn’t blame the cats, of course. That would be a perfectly logical course of action for creatures deprived of a person to keep their food and water bowls full.
However, if circumstances are different, and I get hauled off to a home for bewildered writers some day, it might very well feel like prison to me. I’ve never been very good at following someone else’s schedule.
If I do get locked up in an institution for the aged, I’ll probably need the assistance of advocates on the outside to smuggle in my daily supply of refreshing adult beverages.
I have every confidence that my nieces and nephews would be up to that task.
After living alone for several years, I don’t think I would adapt well to living by someone else’s rules.
I certainly don’t intend to give up restorative libations simply because I reach a certain number on the clock.
I’m not going to exchange wine for herbal tea. I’m not sure tea is all that good for a person anyway.
I have some excellent role models in my life. These are people who refused to turn in their corkscrews who didn’t stop having fun just because they reached a certain birthday. I commend these individuals.
In view of these facts, I will make a special effort to take care of my nieces and nephews in the hope that they might someday return the favor.
It could be one of those win-win situations. They could bring me some fermented contraband, and, in exchange, I could regale them with my repertoire of excellent stories.
As I think about this, nieces and nephews may be a better fit than children when it comes to this kind of stealthy operation.
Children, particularly adult children who have gone through a sort of role reversal with their aging parents, can sometimes become over-protective, and they might be unreliable when it comes to smuggling rum or gin into an old persons’ lockup. They might tell their parents to “act their age,” whatever that means. They might insist their parents give up drinking and other wholesome hobbies.
Nieces and nephews, on the other hand, could prove ideal. They might care enough to go through the bother of visiting their delightful old uncle, without being so strict as to deprive him of things that give him so much joy. This would make them perfect accomplices.
If I ever reach the point where I am no longer able to do the things that make me happy, I don’t see any appeal in the prospect of sitting around staring at the walls and waiting for the reaper.
I’ll be one of those old timers who rocks the boat, and engages in whatever kind of civil disobedience I can think of, just to keep things interesting.
I’m pretty sure some of my nieces and nephews will be willing to help with that. I can see enough of the rebel spirit in them to have confidence that they’ll do the right thing when the time comes.
None of us are going to get out of this life alive, but that doesn’t mean we have to go quietly.