Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset

Is there anything cornier than an old guy going on about how sentimental he is about the past? (Well, sure, there’s schmaltzy old vaudeville routines by the Sunshine Boys or a medley of songs by Doris Day, but other than that, the old guy’s reminiscences have got to be close to the top.)

Anyway, I don’t care and besides I can’t help it.

This morning, as I was riding onto the UW campus, I saw a guy, probably a decade or two younger than me, carrying his little girl, probably a decade younger than Mimi, on his shoulders as he walked down the path and it all but brought tears to my eyes as I thought about all the times I carried my own daughter like that and how, now that she’s essentially as tall as my wife, those days are long gone. Not that carrying her around like that was always what my mom used to refer to as an “unalloyed pleasure,” but still, I can’t help feeling a sense of loss and longing over the fact that I’ll never again get to do so.

I guess this is why old people start lobbying hard for grandkids—but even I’m not that old yet.

Then I was thinking about my dog, Becca, who—at almost six—is squarely in her middle-age dog years. While she hasn’t started losing control of her bowels yet (a point at which I’ll probably be in the minority among my family when it comes to the prospect of ponying up big bucks for veterinary care), she’s no longer the puppy we have tons of photos of in our iPhoto library; she’s even got gray around her muzzle, just like me!

Of course, getting old is preferable to the alternative and you may as well enjoy your memories—even if they’re bittersweet—as long as you can since, it’s only a matter of time (not much!) till you won’t remember them, anyway.


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