My oldest son, Ryan, just celebrated a milestone birthday: 20. Two decades. As in, no longer a teenager. While he is quite pleased that he has reached this benchmark, it is a bitter pill for me to swallow knowing that my son is all grown up. Then again, at my age, I am swallowing a lot of pills, both literally and metaphorically!
His birthday got me thinking about all that has changed in my life and what Ryan has to look forward to in twenty some odd years, when he looks back. For instance, in junior high, I remember listening to “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin. Now, I own a black dog. His name is Baxter. Ah, how my life has changed.
I think back to when grocery shopping meant fifteen minutes in the store, picking up staples like ice cream, ramen noodles and beer. Now, grocery shopping means clipping coupons, strategizing for the best deals and spending four hours in the supermarket. What a difference twenty years makes.
My memory goes back to a time when my girlfriends and I could just drop everything and go away for a weekend together. We would try to find a motel that was near all the happening bars. Now, my selection of hotel is the one that is furthest away from all those happening bars! Refinement in my old age, I guess.
“Insurance” once meant that the black jack dealer was showing an ace; now it is my “piece of the rock”.
I reminisce about “a bill” being either a slang term for money or referring to a cute guy in my Geometry class. Now it’s just a monthly obligation I pay every month. I certainly view “bills” from a different angle these days…
I remember when a weekend was something I looked forward to all week because I would go and do something exciting with my friends. Presently, I look forward to the weekend so I can catch up on some sleep and do laundry. The excitement of it all overwhelms me some times.
Once, having a tattoo meant you were either Popeye or a real sailor. No one’s MOM had a tattoo!
There was once that feeling of electricity through my body when I kissed someone new; that electricity is now rivaled by the pulse of the laser hair removal gun.
I recall having a job so I could pay for clothes, insurance and beer. Now I have a job so I can buy those same items for everyone else in my household. Sigh.
I look back and think about how true the words to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin'” once were and still are. I also call to mind how goofy looking he was back in the day.
It’s nice to know that some things DON’T change!