20.6.10

Birthdays



My grandmother once told me that she was always a bit startled when she looked in the mirror. In her mind’s eye she still saw herself as a young girl, with all of life ahead of her.

Although age creeps up on us all gradually, I too get occasionally startled with how quickly the years are going by. The realization can come out of nowhere and hits me like a freight train. A milestone birthday. Hearing the birth age of friends who are considerably younger but adults in their own right. A sudden nostalgia for the way things used to be, something I used to laugh at my parents or grandparents for. Thinking that the kids today look ridiculous with their super-skinny jeans that stop about 8 inches shy of their waist and make their legs look like chicken legs. Having to wonder if I am too old to switch jobs now. The desire for security slowly overtaking the desire for freedom.

My father turned 60 a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to get home for his birthday but no one seemed too excited about it when I offered to make a trip to meet up in Boston so in the end I decided to postpone a celebration until I am home in September. When I spoke to my father on his birthday weekend, I told him I was disappointed we couldn’t be all together for the big day. I think as much as he would have liked to see me, he didn’t sound too upset about not having a big fuss made of his birthday. I wondered if for him it was also one of those startling reminders of the passage of time. Another birthday ending in an 0.

I know it is best to live in the moment with the right priorities and appreciate every day we get here. But isn’t there always something a little sad about days gone by and that whether you loved them or regretted them you can never have them back?

But nevermind all that. Happy 60th, Dad, and regardless of your age or what the mirror says, I know I for one still very much see this mischievous little boy in you.

PS. Happy Father's Day

Posted from Munich

3 comments:

aimee said...

i've always felt older than i was (literally since childhood). i'm now beginning to startle a bit when someone says my age, not because i think it's old at all but i actually feel the age i am. hahaha

Expat Traveler said...

I've always had older friends but it always seems to me that I'm told I'm the baby, even when I work with people who are 15 to 20 years younger than me. It does feel like you miss out on things (at least I have felt that way since moving back from Europe)...

However,Age is just a number, it's how you feel on the outside that counts the most!!!

Great post..

CanadianSwiss said...

Great post and so true. I sometimes startle myself when I say something like: "Well, 25-30 years ago when I was a teenager..." and thinking: Hmmmm. Now I know what my parents felt like when they said the same thing.

Then again, that's a time measure, not the age you feel you are. :)