No, this is not going to be a post about getting older. I like to joke about the torment of the march of time, but truthfully I am okay with it — good genes and a refusal to dress in (so-called) age-appropriate clothing helps.
Well, actually, it is going to be a post about aging, but not a maudlin one. (Much Music is playing the hits of the 80s as I type, but I am trying to keep my emotions in check.)
This past weekend I was at my cousin’s house. He and his wife were hosting a birthday party for their adorable two year-old daughter.
As the kids ran around shrieking and jumping in a giant inflatable bouncy thing — what are those things called anyway? — the adults chatted, ate tasty foods and drank cocktails. And it suddenly struck me: we are the adults. We are the hosts now. We are the ones buying the ice cream from the ice cream truck.
Sure there were grandparents there, but the majority of people were my contemporaries. My cousins and I were not the ones running around like — well — kids. We own the houses. We (well, not me) have the kids, we’re the ones pouring the drinks and we’re the ones bouncing the babies (again not me — although I did hold one of them briefly — but there was a fair bit of bouncing going on).
No, it doesn’t feel like yesterday that we were celebrating one of our birthdays, but it sure doesn’t feel like ancient history either. Looking at my cousins, I saw the kids that they — we — were. It’s not hard to see the child in adults you’ve known your whole life. And it’s impossible not to notice when they’re laughing.
Now the kids have kids and the grandparents — the lucky ones — are enjoying their grandchildren and relaxing. Someone else is in charge of things
A similar — but less strong — feeling came over me a few months ago at work. We are the ones having this meeting. We called it. We’re discussing this and we’re going to make it happen. If this gets screwed up, it’s on us. Of course we have bosses, but they’re not sitting in here with us.
Yeah, I know.
I wonder how I’ll feel when one of my cousins becomes a grandparent — totally freaked out I imagine.
The march of time. We’re lucky we’re still on the journey.