When Breck was little, and once when Helen was a baby, on a few occasions people mistook me for their mother. Jay always reminded me that these incidents usually occurred in dimly lit restaurants when Joel and Kim weren’t around, and that the three of us do share certain resemblances. It did, however, always make me feel good. It’s been a long time now since Breck and Helen were babies, and those days are gone forever.
Monday evening as I walked the greenway, a small girl pointed at me when she and her mom approached and said, “Grandma!” Eventually, time passes, and all the firming cream in the world isn’t going to dial back those decades.
I firmly believe that people should live in the present. The past cannot be recaptured, and if we long too much for the future, we can end up tossing away days or even years. It’s easy for me to live in the present when things are going well. Labor Day was a wonderful day. Jay and I rose early and went to Memorial Park to see the hot air balloons. It’d been years since we’d done so. At some point the kids got old enough to vote for sleeping in, and then there just always seemed to be something else to do, something to work on. But Monday, we pushed that all aside.
I’d forgotten how fun it is to wander among the balloons and watch the owners fill them with air and lift off. After awhile we wandered over to the lake to watch the balloons dip into the water and eventually took our morning walk around the lake. Yes, when things are going well, it’s easy to live in the present. It’s when things get hard that I don’t do so well with that. That’s when I find myself wishing for the next day, the next week, the next summer—without considering that days (good and bad) are to be lived, not wished away.