The Day After
Elita Sohmer Clayman

We went to a great party yesterday in Northern Virginia. My two youngest grandchildren’s birthday party. It was all you can eat Chinese buffet and the most delightful and plentiful buffet I have ever seen.

It was fun seeing the other side of the family and eating and gorging and having a pleasant and happy time. No one tries to one up another as happens many times at American parties. These people are Asians and are my daughter-in-law’s family and so it is our family now too. No one shows up in fancy clothes or uppity attitudes. No one is there to brag other than to show off the children or grandchildren that are present there. No one has to cook or clean the house before the arrival of the guests.

Everyone there is happy to be there and grateful that they are there. Everyone is delighted to be sharing in this event that is important not only to the three year old Ethan or his one year old sister Ava who are sharing this party for their birthdays in August. Ethan is well behaved and delighted to have a party and Ava is acting like a little mensh (good, sweet and loving) and after having sampled some Asian food that Mommie fed her is munching happily on Cheerios. A good commercial for plain Cheerios because little ones enjoy them especially at restaurants while the others are eating the excellent food.

Everyone there is going to fill their tummy to the limit and when they drive home all filled up with various foods; they will wonder why they ate too much and be now reaching for the bottle of Tums. We are all thrilled to be related to these two little darlings, us and the other grandparents and an assorted group of aunties and uncles and one great auntie

All are one and one is all because we all are there for the same blessing. We are related to these children and their parents one way or the other. In my case, this is my baby and these are his babies. My baby is an attorney and a CPA and even though he is forty-three now, he will always be my baby. He is my Jeffrey, the father of Ava and Ethan.

From one person-me who joined with my husband Jerry, then my daughter and her husband and her two teenagers to my son and his wife and these two birthday celebrants. We are seniors now, my husband and I and the two older boys are teens, age sixteen and thirteen so it is a blessing at this moment in our senior mode to have young grandchildren ages one and three. It is our gift, our love and and our good luck at this point in our lives.

So eating at this buffet honoring both of their August births is surely a prediction of our future and our lasting happiness at this senior age. Even though seniors in my mom’s time were considered old and aged and sickly and on their way out, we new seniors are considered more positive, more healthy, more invigorated and more knowledgeable and even younger in heart. We can teach our young grandchildren and even teen ones too little things of the past and this enhances their lives by knowing what was then and how things differ now.

So the Chinese buffet of extensive pans of food and delicacies and desserts and fruits and anything wonderful in the food line was only part of the event. The pleasure of being there and witnessing the blowing out of the candles on the cake by the three year old and the wonder and happiness on his face were just as important as the moment could make it.

This event is a melting pot of two families, one Asian, one Caucasian, one of the Catholic faith and the other one of the Jewish faith. This is America 2008 and this is the way things are now and that is one of the positive blending of two cultures, two families and two religions.

These beautiful young children Ava and Ethan will be the beneficiaries of the two aspects of their combined heritage and will and are blessed in the unity.

I always insert dancing in my articles and I can do so here too. When we as seniors or soon to be seniors take up dancing we blend into our lives the component and ingredient of a hobby that is beneficial to our health and soul. We meld together one culture of everyday living, working, being and doing all the necessary things we need to do to survive. When we decide to take up dancing we are inserting in that daily life another aspect of living, something that is exciting, and hard to learn. By excelling in it we create another melting pot of two different lives. One where we are us working and living and the other where we are doing a specialty diversion in our leisure time and we are using our brain to accomplish this feat for our feet, our arms and mostly for our mind.

When our minds are active and happy and still learning, then we have blended good times with educational thoughts. There is a saying that learning is a companion on a journey to a strange country and is an inexhaustible strength. We seniors have this strength and we are proud to exhibit it whenever we can. This is not a strange country we have found, this is ours because of our dancing we are in new territory in our same location.

So the melding of my two families of my half Asian grandchildren can be said is like ballroom dancing for seniors. We merge, mix and mingle and then we are blessed because we are happy, happier and then the happiest seniors there are.

We are exuberant, ecstatic, euphoric and Thomas Jefferson said happiness is tranquility.
Tranquil we are.

Elita Sohmer Clayman
Baltimore, Maryland
September 2008

Published by René Zgraggen
Montgomery, AL