My favorite old Coot.

What a cute Coot.

What a cute Coot.

Years and years ago, when I was very young, I had a class with a friend.  I think we were in the ninth grade, but it may have been tenth.  I know that I was just at the age where having a good friend who was a boy was something new and very special. I know that I was just at that age where we begin to wonder about the rest of our lives.

In this class, the teacher asked us to think about the future; I have no idea why, or even what class it was!  All I remember is that I was partnered with my friend, Tim.  We were supposed to make a budget, to plan how to pay for a home and family.  It was all pretty silly, and I don’t remember whether or not we did very well on the assignment.

But I remember that my friend was cute, and funny, and that I really enjoyed talking with him and thinking about our “grown up lives”.

And I remember that we told each other that we’d always be friends, the way that children do.  I remember us laughing together, and I remember saying, “When we are old, we’ll be sitting side by side in our rockers, in the Old Folks’ Home. We’ll still be friends!”

So fun, and so funny to recall.

These dreams are always foolish, aren’t they?

Except that the funny thing is, we really HAVE stayed friends.  Tim was in our wedding, and my husband Paul was in his.  Tim and his wife, Jean, have been our close friends for years.  We had our first children within six months of each other, and then each went on to have two more.  Our families have spent weekends together, have celebrated New Year’s eve together. We’ve walked our babies together, watched our children grow up and go to school and become adults. We’ve shared meals, and many drinks, and lots of music and a boatload of laughter.

And now, more than 40 years after that laughing conversation about our lives in the Old Folks Home, now, my good friend has become a Grandfather.  He calls himself “Coot”, although it well may be that his granddaughter will call him “papa” or “gumpa” or “pops”.

I know that the name “Coot” is perfect for my funny old friend, and that his wife Jean will be the prettiest Nana ever.  We’ll be joining them in the world of Grandparents in the next few weeks, and the four of us will share more stories, and laughs and meals and walks with strollers.  We are moving together into the next phase of our lives, me and “Coot”. Our babies are having babies at almost the same time.

Who knows? Maybe our granddaughters will become great friends, and maybe someday they will come to the “home” where Coot and Nana and Grampa and Nonni will be rocking together and remembering our wild younger days.

Congratulations to Coot and Nana!!!!  

8 thoughts on “My favorite old Coot.

  1. I LOVE THAT! COOT! I plan to make my husband use that. He is glaring at me across the couch. But I will persevere.

    Years ago we had friends who bought a house from a very old couple they dubbed “the Coots.” They had hilarious stories about them. But I never understood the appellation. Until we moved back from Europe and started walking our dogs by a particular part of the river. There, seasonally, were the funniest birds I’d ever seen — COOTS! Also called Mud Hens. They are the most wonderful, completely awkward birds. That’s because instead of being actual ducks, they are “duc-like” and have no webbing. So they can’t take off gracefully. Or land gracefully. Or fly all that well. They are very much like me. I decided that if I am reincarnated, I’d like to come back as a Coot. But then I learned that they form 80% of a bald eagle’s diet. I don’t like them that much.


  2. My husband and I just became grandparents again for the third time. I have not seen her yet as she lives far away, but I heard her crying over Skype as her father tried and failed to turn his camera on. It was decided that the nourishment needs of a three day old crying infant were possibly more important, so we will try again, perhaps tomorrow. She has healthy lungs. 🙂


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