Sunday, October 14, 2007

Too young to die.

I am one of the few I know who looks forward to the advancement of age. For myself, I usually feel a little more comfortable in my skin with the onset of a new year than I did the previous one, and, for others, I’m able to witness that very thing take place. It’s uncanny. Train yourself to be perceptive enough and you’re able to see those close to you become new versions of themselves on their birthdays. You get to celebrate them for the accomplishment. It’s an amazing thing. It’s right and it’s beautiful.

Take my stepdad, for example. The man recently turned 60 (a milestone age for anybody, I think). Fifty is big, sure, but 60 is that much bigger. This is his time, now more than ever, to dispel wisdom and advice at the drop of a hat and (sometimes) have it really resonate—he’s earned that. He gets to order off the senior citizens menu and invest in a new set of bifocals should he care to. As we’ve assisted one another through times both good and bad, I’ve witnessed myself growing in my friendship for this man. I’ve seen him grow in his love and understanding for my mother (and she, him). He’s started listening more than he’s been wont to in our conversations. I see affection and caring in the eyes of his children when they’re in his presence, even. To me, he’s an example of not only growing old, but continually growing up. Think about that some. We could all benefit from working to remain in the student mode always.


My friend Chris turned the ripe old/young (you decide which best applies) of 36 a few days back. It was a good and necessary time to take pause and reflect on another friendship that has deepened over the past months. I see real strengths in him that are being honed. I see myself just a few years away from him, also still single and largely curious as to why that’s the case, and I can’t help but empathize with him. I’m not sure he wants to be the age he is (yet) and, because of such, he still takes solace in others not exactly believing him when he answers the “How old are you—really?” question. You know what? It’s all good. There’s not a single thing wrong with 36. Many who’ve seen that year both come and go can attest to that, I think. Chris and I (and about 17 others) were able to herald in his new year with tacos, a cake made in his likeness and gifted castanets. It’ll be a remarkable year for him, I venture.



Then there’s the case of my glamorous little niece, someone I can’t resist falling a little more for each time I spend an hour or two in her presence. Her birthday was months ago. She’s all of three years and some change now, but her vocabulary has grown leaps and bounds since age 2. She can sing her ABCs while her sister dances obediently to her newly created beat. She can sing a Fergie song almost word for word and tip the scales of CUTE in the process. She adheres to the “dance like nobody is watching and sing like everybody is listening” theory. I could learn plenty from her. I do.

6 comments:

chloe elizabeth said...

I don't know you...but I stalk your blog occasionally. Great post. I have to admit that I am actually looking forward to turning 30 next month. It's been a good year and I'm excited for what's around the corner.

Sara said...

That was some awfully cute singing and dancing.

plainoldsarah said...

i think it's cool you've been a witness to close people (parent types) falling in love over the years. in ways we can all do that but being a step dad you saw things some of us missed out on witnessing. lucky. and speaking of lucky - that chris is lucky to have such a cool cake! i'm super jealous! but he is deserving.

ewesa said...

the stubble on the cake is especially convincing!

Angie said...

I wish you had the littlest one's shoulder dance moves. Those were truly amazing.

Cindy said...

That's a beautiful cake. I should have joined you guys.