I always used to hate word problems. Math is confusing it enough without wrapping it up in a labyrinth of repurposed language and subtle syntax that makes all the difference in the world. And how useless are they? If Billy is half again as old as Bobby when Bobby is twelve, at what point was Billy twice as old as Bobby?
The funny thing is, I realized just now that my life has hit a funny little juncture where those aggravating old nemeses of mine would be applicable in a way that actually means something to me. You see, tomorrow, my old dad will be twice as old as I am. That’s right. I’m a quarter-centenarian at the moment, and tomorrow, my dad will reach the distinguished mark of hemi-centenarian. Someone could write an equation about the relationship between our ages and the numbers would work out all nice and neat.
The scary thing is that my life has not seemed very long so far. It’s utterly bizarre to think that I only get to double my time before I’m sitting in my dad’s chair, hopefully surrounded by as many loving friends and family members, reflecting on the fact that the AARP has added me to their watch list. Acknowledging the fact that a substantial portion of those twenty-five years were spent in achieving some semblance of developmental maturity and also that my dad hopefully has another fifty productive years in front of him, it is still sobering to realize that time doesn’t hang around and wait for procrastinators. It passes just the same, whether I’m writing my dreams into existence or parking my tush on the couch with two sticks and a ball of yarn.
I can’t say that I love the picture of my fiftieth birthday, however, if the latter option becomes my default setting. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a glorified baby-sitter who owns cats and knits, but… I hope I’ve learned better from the example of hard work and care of others that my parents have set for me. I hope that when my dad is half again as old as I am that I will look back and feel satisfied that I have been giving my all to make my life one that is as well-lived as my parents’.
Happy Birthday, Daddy-O. Oh, and by the way?