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February Through the iPhone

14 March 2014

I’m sure it’s obvious by now that I’m having a hard time keeping up with the pace of life these days. We’re half-way through March? Come on.

To be perfectly honest, I was tired last night as I edited photos and dropped them into a grid. I wasn’t really looking for a theme, not really, but the concept of age kept popping up as I flipped through February. Even as I type it, I’m not sure what that means.

But there it is. Babies on one end, seniors on the other. Blocks for the former. Cake for the later, and an old man being reborn somewhere in the middle which is the only place that should be. I suppose. Ancient words on old paper that are now just a decorative shell for the new seedling breaking open inside.

1

If February was about age, what did we learn? 

That toddlers are too young for coffee? That after you survive eight decades your candles can face whatever direction you please?

That it’s meaningless?

Because age is a measure of time, but time is relative, a wise man once theorized. And I believe him. I have a toddler. Time is all kinds of relative.

An hour-long nap time, for instance, is much shorter than a regular hour. Four uninterrupted hours of sleep at night, on the other hand, is an eon.

I’m starting to think that age is meaningless partly because I’ve been monitoring it in months for over a year, and it doesn’t seem to matter as much as they say. Teeth, talking, crawling, walking, sleeping, signing, weaning – they’ll do it when they’re ready, and toddlers are astoundingly uninfluenced by societal pressures or perceived social norms.

I’m starting to think that age is meaningless because after a week of Immediate Care facilities and Emergency Rooms, Husband finally ended up in a pediatric office where he met the only physician in the Chicagoland area who could diagnose the rash taking over his legs. (Henoch-Schönlein purpura) It’s not uncommon in children. He’d never seen it on an adult.

2

And it’s fitting that I’m so behind, and learning about age, because this weekend is my dad’s birthday. He would have turned 57 tomorrow, but we celebrated his father’s 82nd birthday last month. So what does it matter, really? What does it mean?

Husband will turn 36 this month, but that doesn’t tell us anything. Not really. It’s an excuse for a nice dinner and something yummy for dessert, but it doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed another 54 years or anything. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s wiser than last year by default (although I think he is).

And while there are lots of ways in which 1 is much different from 81, I’m not sure which I’d rather be. I learn so much about life from my toddler and from my grandparents, and a lot of the time they seem to be saying the same things –

Give extravagantly.

Love generously.

Work hard.

Nap where ever you happen to be when you get sleepy.

It’s almost like we’re born with this inherent wisdom, and then we spend half our lifetimes ignoring it, before finally coming back to it again when our children are grown and off somewhere forgetting it themselves.

I’m starting to think that age is meaningless partly because when I sit back and watch, I notice that regardless of years accumulated, some of the people I most love and admire in the world – who seem to have this stuff pretty well figured out – get up in the morning, eat a simple breakfast, and watch the birds out the window together as though they don’t have another care in the world.

Maybe that’s the formula.

Maybe it’s those other things.

Maybe it doesn’t matter because death is no respecter of the number of candles on your last cake, and the journey is the destination anyway.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Magda permalink
    16 March 2014 1:57 PM

    Love your words. I hope I meet you one day, Lexi. I was 26 when my dad died and he was 56. He met neither of my children but I told them stories over the years (still do!) and oh my how they would have loved each other. They smile fondly when I tell these stories, as if they knew him, which is quite lovely. Kia Kaha. xx

    • Lex permalink*
      17 March 2014 9:29 PM

      Thanks, Magda. I have a friend from high school whose father died while we were teenagers, and she tells me that her young son talks about his grandfather like he knows him – from her stories. You guys give me hope. (And don’t threaten me with a good excuse to come to New Zealand!)

  2. bianca permalink
    19 March 2014 10:42 AM

    I needed this today. I wish you could spend a day with Bella and capture wisdom and insight to share with her… about her, about life. I wish I had the words like you do to give her.
    Maybe I will just have her start reading your blog ❤

    Love you, girl.

    Thank you

    • Lex permalink*
      19 March 2014 12:47 PM

      You have the perfect words and insight for her, or God wouldn’t have chosen you to be her mama. :*

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