Thursday, September 18, 2008

Time Marches On

Our son will be turning 41 this Saturday. How can that possibly be? I'm barely older than that myself! Seems that I realize the passing of time with the birthdays of my children and grandchildren more than with my own birthdays. It's just a number to me (a number that keeps getting bigger!), but as they age, I look back and remember myself and where I was in my life at that age.

When I was 41, our son had left college and joined the Air Force the year before and had not too long after married the girl of his dreams. They were about to inform us that we were going to be grandparents for the first time. I was just 42 when our grandson was born. I can't imagine our son being a grandparent. He seems so young for that sort of thing. I was, too. But I was thrilled at the prospect.

Way back then, our daughter had just started working at A.G. Edwards and was recovering from mono. She had begun working there the year before and was planning to stay for a long time. As it turned out, she has been there about 15 years.

We stlled lived in our mobile home, next door to hubby's mom. I thought we would probably live there forever. But we didn't.

So, son will be 41. The grands are going to spend Friday night and help me prepare the birthday dinner on Saturday. I'm going to try a new recipe my mom gave me - chicken spaghetti. I think they'll love it. Dinner will take twice as long to prepare, because I will be supervising four kids in the kitchen. They want fudge for dessert - so fudge it will be!

Time changes a lot of things. I have some wrinkles and that horrible turkey wattle under my chin, and I certainly don't have the grace and stamina I did yesterday. There are now bulges where there used to be bones. My once sleek body doesn't resemble the one I had 41 years ago. But hidden beneath all that flab is the young girl I used to be.

Some things will never change. My love for my husband has deepened with the years, as has the love for my children, grandchildren, and family and friends in general. I believe I appreciate them more. I've mellowed a great deal (can I have a witness?). I still love hearing people laugh - especially if it isn't at my expense. I still love sitting unobserved and listening to children interact as they play. Life still fascinates me. People still frustrate me. I continue to believe Mom and Dad had my younger brother just for my enjoyment, because I still find him delightful. And I still see an occasional flicker from the fire of ambition I had as a young thing.

Time marches on, but I'm no longer marching in cadence. Now my gait is slower and my steps a bit more uncertain. I'm marching nonetheless. I have no choice. One thing is certain, at every age and in every chapter there are new delights, wonders and pleasures. I'm going to grab them while I can.

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