The old man in the beard, 2015, has hobbled out of the picture and Baby 2016 has crawled in. Years ago, sometime after I had disposed of my diaper for the support of my figurative cane, I started wondering about how we age. When do we start changing into adults, and how do those two groups see things differently?
I jotted down some observations then, and because I haven’t been allowed to return to my swaddling days, these thoughts are still about the damage the passing years render to our bodies and minds and souls:
• Growing up is all about memory loss: We forget how to be children.
• Adults would feel a lot younger again – and more needed – if roll call were taken at work.
• Youngsters are forced to take naps and don’t want to because they suspect they will miss something. Adults want naps but are denied them because their bosses and spouses don’t want them to miss anything.
• When I was a child, I tried to color inside the lines. Often I drew borders with a black crayon around the pictures to make sure I didn’t stray. Nowadays, it would be fun to color outside the lines, but life has drawn big borders around my life and so it isn’t so easy.
• Home-schooled children get credit for perfect attendance; I managed that only in the ninth grade. But I didn’t have to take my sister to the prom.
• Parents should keep a list of everything they do for their child – every changed diaper, every 2 a.m. crying session, every school carnival, every trip to the emergency room. Then, when the child becomes a teenager and makes a demand, the parents could say, “Not until you’ve paid off this list.”
• People who grew up watching the same cartoons I did believe to this day that dogs are male, cats are female and falling off a cliff doesn’t cause permanent damage. If we’re lucky, we got over the cowboy-movie creed that kissing our horse is better than kissing a woman.
• Having grown up watching my share of Westerns, however, I am disappointed that, even in my advanced years, I have yet to meet a gold miner, a claim jumper, a land squatter, a cattle rustler, a bronc buster, a four-flusher or a town drunk (this last one, I suppose, would need to have a certificate or other credentials).
• It has been my experience that boys named Junior are angry from the start. They were born saying, “Oh, yeah?” and have never let it go.
• Adults know that electricity will find the shortest route; a child, the longest.
• Adults have to take so much medicine because candy has lost its thrill.
• Every man’s worst day is when he realizes he will never get into Cooperstown unless he pays at the door.
• This being 2016, if the voting age were lowered to 6, presidential campaigns would be a lot more fun – and certainly no worse.
Happy New Year!
Reach Glynn Moore at email@example.com.