You know that you have lived a good life when you are around long enough to see people—who were once awkward youngsters uncomfortable in their very own bodies—grow into the men and women those bodies were created to be. Not quite like the ugly duckling story but the drift is almost the same.
I had occasion this past week to be around several young men and women from my past who have grown up and were fitting very comfortably into the people they were destined to be—people they were only shadows of before. You could see the seeds of who they could become but really couldn’t say what kind of plants the seeds—all loose and jumbled up in side them—would grow into.
It is exciting to see the formation of a person from that point of early development unto the real thing—from being unsure and slightly unstable to being confident and assured—from being dependent to being a blessing—from always being served to becoming one who serves.
It is interesting as well to think of being on the other side of all of that youthful stuff—yet still be fully alive and growing and enjoying all that life has to offer—but ever the viewer—always looking at life as if through plate glass—you on one side and I on the other. Not that we don’t talk and interact but there is a distance—a distinctness about things and people that marks the line between who you are and I am.
We reflect on the past and we contemplate the future.
My only son is getting married this weekend and it is hard to get my head around all the years in between this major event and helping him learn to ride a bike and playing catch in the front yard. All those little league games and hamburgers after them and the summers at the beach and bouncing in the waves. In a couple of days it will be the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, the honeymoon and then the rest of their lives together. He has been out of the home for several years now but getting married seems to say—in its own something borrowed and something blue way—that his life is really his own now.
He has a good foundation from which to build a life—a good work ethic and a loyalty that I think comes from a more or less stable family life. I remember when he and I built the swingset which still stands solid and useful in our backyard. There were plans to follow and pieces of wood to cut and holes to drill and metal things that needed to be bolted to the wood and how he stuck right in there with me until the job was finished even though it took most of the day. As opposed to me trying to get out of every project my dad tried to get me to participate in.
As I type I am wondering what kind of cigars to get to celebrate with and what I am going to wear to the wedding and where the shoe polish is and the little jobs I have to do for Sandi to prepare for our guests and on and on.
Congratulations in advance Joseph and Amanda. Enjoy the ride—it’s about to get a lot more interesting.