Monday, March 19, 2012
I thought about one person who was a shy and tentative twenty-year-old but is now a confident, accomplished person, full of talent and leadership ability. I also thought about the ones whose lives have made them sadder and less adventurous than they were when we were all at the beginning of adulthood all those years ago. Life, with all its hardships, can beat a person down. Divorce, problems with children, financial problems - and even the person we choose to spend our lives with - all contribute to the people we are today as opposed to the ones we were way back when.
I think the thing that made me saddest on the phone that day was that my children will never know this person I learned to love many years ago. She was quick to laugh, eager to be a good parent, ambitious, and so pretty. Now that nice smile is slower to show itself and the laugh rarely escapes a more subdued personality. I learned to love them for the person they were, and continue to see that person inside whenever I'm with them. But no one who knows them now would see it. And that makes me sad.
It also makes me realize that life changes all of us, for better of worse, and there's not much we can do about it. It reminds me of the time a couple years ago when one of my adult children made some off handed comment about how we were such "fuddy-duddies". My quick retort was something to the effect that "Believe it or not we used to be considered fun people - until we became parents and had to be responsible and make mortgage payments and pay for piano lessons and put shoes on all those feet..." Of course they knew I was kidding, and that I wouldn't trade my children for all the stress-free days in the world, but those things do change us. It's inevitable. And sometimes, in some cases, also very sad. I miss the carefree youthful days and the friends I had then. I know they're still around, if only I could find them....