Age is all from perspective, I have decided. This weekend alone I have witnessed the whole continuum. I stopped and chatted with a man I didn’t know, who was on oxygen. He started telling me about the ailments of old age. He said, “You turn 60, and it’s all downhill from there, in a rush! You turn around and there’s another birthday. And then another. And another! All downhill from 60.” And when I told him I just turned 60, he remarked that I look good for my age and maybe that downhill race won’t happen to me.
Then a little friend came over. She’s 11, almost 12, going on know-it-all 30. She saw my birthday cards and upon asking how old I was, her mouth turned into a perfect O and stunned silence for about 30 seconds. The usually chatter silenced in speechlessness.
Just now a young mother with two toddlers in a stroller came by and stopped to talk to me. I’ve never seen them before and they both readily told me “I’m four.” (Twins) They told me their names and asked me for mine. And then chatted nonstop about their adventures in the playground and that they have to go home now because they were sopping wet from jumping around in puddles. And treated me like I was a playmate or at least a doting aunt with an ear for listening. Age meant nothing to them. I still hear the cheerful humming as they both sang “Bye Jeanie” in unison and went on their way.
From young whippersnapper to ancient crone to best pal in 24 hours.