Monday, June 30, 2008

In the Blink of an Eye



In the blink of an eye.....50 years goes by. Sometimes, when you look back it is like a fast-forward movie and at other times when you look back it is like moving in slow motion. Today I'm moving in slow motion remembering the birth of our first born 50 years ago. The excitement of bringing home this tiny baby. The anxiety of worrying that he would stop breathing. Overwhelmed with the responsibility that parenthood brought. And amazed at the love for this tiny creature we had made.

This tiny creature isn't so tiny anymore. He is a man who people say looks like his father. I think he does a little bit. That line on his brow is like his father. In another day or two he will be 50. Fifty years old. I can't believe it. But thinking about him being 50 has made me think about when we were 50 years old.

We both turned 50 in the same year. And each of us had a big birthday party. Our children were "grown" more or less. Mike 28, Gary 24 and Doug 23. We felt free. We traveled with friends. Snapshots from that time period showed us partying and in general just being silly. A second childhood at 50.

Our generation was so different, still is so different than our children's generation. As children we heard about the "Great Depression" from our parents who lived though it. We became aware of the world early on because of World War II. We were serious people who grew up and married young, especially by today's standards, and then we set about making a family and home. There wasn't much money but we entertained our friends by making hamburgers on Friday night and playing cards while the kids dragged toys across our feet. Going out to eat was something that only happened on special occasions, very special occasions. We made picnic lunches and carried them with us when we traveled. No stopping at a fast food place for road food. We made our clothes and cut our own lawns. We were a thrifty generation.

As I look at the ageing slides softly shifting colors, I see Ned and myself. We look so young. And then the movie goes to fast forward. Those young people are still here inside. If I stare really hard at my reflection in the mirror sometimes I can still see me as I was then but it seems like, in the blink of an eye, things have changed.

6 comments:

1st Mate said...

I always think a mom should have her own celebration on her kids' birthdays, don't you? After all, you did most of the work. You deserve a cake and some presents too.

Babs said...

How strange that you should write this today! Yesterday Gayle brought up all the "old" people at Fred's party and I laughed - I said, "Honey, that's you and me". She said she never thought of herself that way and we talked about how we feel 25 inside until we look in the mirror! Ha.....your blog is SO relevant...It doesn't really bother me, old age, as I consider the alternative...Oh, and your comment about taking a picnic in the car - I STILL do that when I drive to Texas - how funny....

Steve Cotton said...

I cannot remember which country it is, but in one of my former temporary homes, it is the custom for the birthday boy or girl to give presents to the guests. Bliss, I suspect that does not includes the parents. But that would be sad. I like your idea of a new custom.

Billie -- Great memories. Thank you for sharing them. I had literally forgotten where I developed the habit of packing food for a road trip. My mother still packs 6 months worth of provisions for a 1 hour trip -- just in case.

wayne said...

Nice post about ageing and the passing of time. Where does it go?

Billie said...

Thanks to all of you. I have added a label about getting older because this process is amazing to me. Babs, like you said I feel 25 (most of the time) but things are different and there is a knowledge about life that I certainly didn't have at 25. So I expect I'll be writing some more posts along this topic unless it starts to feel to close to the bone.

We always pack something for a long car trip. In the last year, we found a place to get a good subway type sandwich along MX 57, so I don't pack a full "lunch" anymore but if we need a snack, I've got it. I remember getting up really early to make fried chicken or something substantial for road food when we traveled with the children. Nice memories.

Rooster said...

Billie, You are certainly "aging gracefully." Outside and inside. May us in generations to come follow your lead and respect for past and present!