I don't know my grown kids anymore. They eat sensibly, exercise and get plenty of rest. They never used to be that way.
The other day, I visited my daughter's apartment and fell over a stair climber. I couldn't believe my eyes."It gives me a lot of muscular work on my legs and buttocks," she said.
"I wanted to give you a lot of muscular work on your legs and buttocks when we lived in that two-story house in Bellbrook," I said, "but you'd have no part in it. Remember when I used to put laundry, toilet paper and the sweeper at the foot of the stairs and say, `The next one who goes upstairs take a load with him'? You'd sleep in the laundry tubs before you'd go up those stairs."
"That was different."
Right. Like the stationary bicycle my son bought a few years ago for his bedroom. He gets up an hour early to pedal to nowhere and takes the same route before he goes to bed. This from a guy who claimed to be the only senior in a public high school in North America who was not permitted to drive his parents' car to school. You may have seen him being interviewed by Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes," accusing his parents of cruel and inhumane treatment.
I don't get it. The kids who walk around today with weights on their arms and ankles are the same kids who couldn't pick up the garbage or a towel because they might pull a muscle. They're the same ones who run on treadmills to oblivion, yet would organize a car pool to take them from home plate to first base.
My daughter acts as if she is seeing broccoli for the first time in her life. I told her, "It's the same stuff you used to mash up with a fork and slip into your shoe when no one at the table was looking."
They take vitamins willingly, drink water they can't pronounce, and use sunscreen with a number higher than their IQ.
In a way, it's sort of rewarding. All that wonderful advice I gave them, which has been dormant all these years, is suddenly beginning to surface and make sense. It's as if they are finally realizing that all the nagging and the rules were given in the name of love because I cared for their well-being.
I said to my daughter, "While you're up, would you walk your muscular legs to the car and get my glasses?"
She sighed, "What am I? Your slave?"
Then again, maybe they still need work.