Kermit the Frog of Jim Henson's Muppet fame croaked those words long ago. Yet they still seem timely these days. Especially for Boomers learning the ins and outs of eldercare.
We're humans, not frogs. Yet we are green nevertheless. Green in the sense of being over our heads, hopping into newfound territory with little preparation. How do we cope with our parents' dementia? How do we understand their physical disabilities? How do we teach our children about their elders and their needs?
We're green. Fortunately the green feeling fades--at least somewhat--as we learn. Knowledge helps, whether it's through friends' telling their stories of what's happening with Mom and Dad, or our looking online at information relating to their specific disease. But the best source of learning about aging often comes from the elders themselves--our parents, their peers and others.
My parents died in 2003 and 2004, both at 77. Young these days. But they taught me many things about aging. They, too, felt "green." Daddy's Parkinson's was always giving him new symptoms; just when he got used to a whispered voice, his hands began shaking. Then later, swallowing presented a problem.
I don't know what issue you're facing with your elderly parent. Are you tackling the driving issue? Or a host of medical diagnoses? Or caregiving?
We all feel green at different stages of our lives. As a kindergartener walking into the classroom on the first day of school. As a junior higher, trying to navigate the halls of a new school building. And as Boomers now, many of you are wondering, "What happened to the dad or mom I knew for so many years," and "How do I relate to him or her?"
We probably always will feel green on a certain level. Yet being green actually isn't so bad. It's not easy, Kermit says. But it shows that we are alive, that we are growing, that we care.