Friday, October 28, 2011

The Birthday Issue

         Recently I posted on my 72nd birthday. I got thinking more about the birthday issue after that post. I guess birthdays were on my mind since my son recently turned 42 and my daughter will soon turn 40. I stopped and said "Wow" I have two kids who are in their 40's. I had never thought of things in that way before.

      I was fortunate enough to be 68 when my Dad died. I know he found it difficult to consider me as elderly. I sent him a birthday card and told him that on my next birthday I would be 65. Apparently he thought about this for a bit and then said to my step Mom, "You know Red's and old man." My step Mom thought this was a hilaroius comment. For my Dad it was one of those moments when time needed an adjustment in his head. I had left his house at age 17 and had not spent much time with him after that so experiences we had together were limited.
        It has always seemed to me the first sight of my children is the one that sticks in my mind.  I remember them as preschoolers as they were always in the house and very dependent on me. In their school years they  were out of the house for the day but with me at home. So they were spending less and less time with me. They finished high school and left the home. They came back for visits. Less time was spent with them. So suddenly a large amount of time has passed and I'm sorry to say that they are middle aged. So maybe I should have been putting more emphasis on birthdays.

      When a child is 4 they concentrate on the present time. They don't spend much time considering their short lifetime experience. A four year old will find it very difficult to look toward the future. I'm wondering if this is why as adults, we remember almost none of our early life. We don't spend time remembering when we're young and don't establish much in our memory bank.

     As we age we think about our past much more. At my age there is a tremendous amount of past to think about. Some of it gets muddled. I find this out when I visit my brother and sometimes we have some different views of our past experience. Some of my childhood memories have faded as I'm not with my family to constantly remind me about them.

     The four year old probably cannot see himself as 16. Just as I could not see my children as being in their 40's. And I can't realistically see myself as being eighty although I am getting close to it.

     I think the most important part of the living process is that we stay positive about our life. It is important that we look forward in a positive way and in so doing we will enjoy getting there