My friends all seem to be turning 50.
When I say "my friends," I am usually referring to people I have known for decades. I have lots of other friends and I know people who are other ages besides 50. But the ones who are turning 50 lately, are the ones with whom I celebrated other milestone birthdays. Maybe not all milestones. When Keb & Barb turned 18, we had a fabulous teenage overnighter, complete with memorable junk food and sneaking out in pj’s late at night. Pam’s 21st birthday was the first time she & I had ever been to Las Vegas.
When Chris turned 16 I gave him the poem, "If" by Rudyard Kipling. I burned it into a slab of wood and covered it with shellac. It was for his 16th birthday in 1972. I found out just recently that he still has it and treasures it after all these years.
After all these years…. we’re still friends. Last night, along with other important people in his life, (I would call them "my great big Irish-Catholic family" =D) and my girls, we celebrated and toasted his 50 years. We laughed at how young and innocent we were. We reminisced about going to the prom in blue satin and crushed velvet. And then we made our own kids (My Amy. His Conor) take a picture in a "prom pose."
I think our kids get a kick out of us. I think they like the idea that we were once young and made bad fashion choices. I think we (the grown-ups) like to remember our misspent youth. I think we like having people in our lives who remember just how cute we were once. I think we like to share our memories because they are a rich part of who we have become. I think we like to think we know stuff.
Happy Birthday, Chris, my friend. I am delighted to know you still.