Stay Up Late

I have said this before and I'm sure that I will keep on saying it: Make friends of all ages.

As a teacher, I have enjoyed the fresh perspectives that children bring to the table and, as a student, I have appreciated the insight and the knowhow that older people provide. Life is like a see-saw in that way, the youngest children hop on with no conceptions whatsoever. Can you picture them toddling towards the fulcrum? As the weight shifts, they trade curiosity for experience, creativity for expertise, wonder for wisdom. Neither extreme can fully appreciate what the other has to offer, but each is admirable.

I am only in my thirties but I have already noticed some shifts in my position. I have traded recklessness for caution. I have become resourceful but anxious, preoccupied but purposeful. I am nostalgic for my past but driven towards my future. Somewhere in the transitions, I lose track of this very moment.

But my son hit my life like a reset button. He is the most present person I know. He accepts each experience with laughter or tears, then he moves on to the next one. His reaction to the world reminds me how wonderful it is. And he puts my grownupedness to use. Because my missteps, my black eyes, my fears, and my experience can all be used to his advantage. In his presence, I can't help but wonder myself. About the littlest things and about bigger things that he hasn't begun to imagine.

This illustration was created for the cover of my annual music exchange.

© 2010 rama hughes