• Posted: Apr 10, 2011 09:59:14
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I have a son who is turning 30 next month. I can't help smiling when I think of him, a kaleidoscope of changes. I was at his mother's side when they pulled him from her womb. I was one of the first to hold him. I was there when he took his first steps, when he learned to ride a two-wheeler, when he hit his first home run, when he struggled with math and bullies and got disciplined in school, when he got picked up running through the streets on hallucinogens, when he nearly died of alcohol intoxication one-upping his buddies over poker. I taught him to ride a motorcycle, drive a car safely, work a stick shift. We had talks about girls, about character, about becoming an adult and choosing a career. Over and over again I've seen him shine and I've seen him stumble. I've seen him become something way beyond what I am or his mother is and I've been horrified to see him suffer from some of the the same weaknesses that I've struggled with, that even my dad struggled with. Such a lesson. Such a lesson for both of us. Genes are not destiny, but they do impose limitations, predispositions, tendencies. Next month he won't be turning grey, but he will find himself closer to looking in the mirror one morning and spotting his first grey hairs. I trust it won't be all that traumatic an experience for him. But it will be a reminder that the clock is ticking.
These days I have friends who are losing friends, losing them from aneurisms and heart-attacks, strokes and cancer. Some are now missing their memories. It's sad. We are all getting older. The clock is long past half-past and seeming to run faster every day, every week, every year. Looking around us and dismaying that things are not the same as they once were is not the answer to our concerns. Neither is looking ahead and imagining, hoping, that one day the answer will come. No, the answer is as it always has been and always will be, right here in front of us. The world is spinning. The clock is ticking. We need only grab a piece of the action and try to make something of it, anything at all. The rules hardly ever change, only the rewards do. The deeper we question, the richer the rewards.
It's only a matter of how we look at things. Turning grey is really no problem at all.
Sunday, April 8th, 2007
10.9 mm 52 mm