My mom always says she's an 18-year-old living in an [insert real age here]-year-old body (I've been sworn to secrecy on this) and I think I her that more and more as time passes. Every once in a while something will happen like my baby brother gets his license, or I have a five-year high school reunion, or they start playing Chicago on the oldies station, and time slaps me upside the head because I haven't been paying it enough attention. Sometimes this makes me sad, sometimes I am proud, sometimes I feel nostalgic, and sometimes I get so excited I can barely hold it in. But it is always disconcerting.
That's why I love, love, love, this picture:
This is a picture me at eighteen months. But let's be honest, besides the height difference (one of the few times it's actually noticeable--yay!) this could have been taken today. Matching sweats? Check. Wild and crazy hair? Check. Kicking back in the office? Check. Lunch at my desk? Check. (I even had ravioli today.) This reminds me that while change is inevitable (except from a vending machine), some things--hopefully the best things, the essentials--don't have to change too much. (Also that I have been prepping for this job for over two decades.)
- I was born partially deaf in one ear and have never regained full hearing. This made me speak with a lisp when I was younger, and while it has faded, I recall one home video in particular where I was trying to catch Shultze (a puppy named after Herbert Schultze by my Grandpa, a veteran who retired from the U.S. Navy as Chief Petty Officer. He recognized men of honor on both sides.), so I ran around yelling "Shul-thee! Shul-thee!" It's pretty cute, but I'm glad that's one thing that has changed (:
- I learned to read at a very young age and was reading Green Eggs and Ham out loud to my mom less than six months after this picture was taken. I've never stopped. (Reading in general, or Dr. Seuss in particular.)
- My grandma still has that booster seat. It's seen her through over twenty grandchildren and at least ten great-grandchildren.
Both these pictures remind me that even though I still cringe when I see Ian behind the wheel of his car, or think that I don't know enough to be a high school graduate, let alone have a Bachelor's degree, or vividly remember dancing around the house with my mom to her brand-new Chicago 17 cassette tape (probably even in those same purple sweats), I don't have to feel like I'm getting too old for any of those things.
Instead, like the namesakes of Bill Watterson's iconic duo, I can enjoy the faded, "70s" color of the past for what it was and be grateful for what it still is because "there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice."
And for the things that have changed, I can "take my [next] voyage. A great leap in the dark."