There’s nothing like a couple of major life events to make you realize how quickly time passes.
The first, my birthday, was just a few days ago. It wasn’t a major milestone, but it marked the passage of another year.
The funny thing is though, I didn’t wake up feeling any different than I had the day before. Or the year before. Or the decade before, for that matter.
The only real difference is the number on the end that I’m only reminded about when filling out paperwork at the doctor’s office or completing some random survey.
My husband and I like to joke about getting older. We talk about getting his and hers rocking chairs so we can sit on the porch and compare aches and pains, while sorting out the ever-increasing number of vitamins and pills we need (or will need to) take. We tell each other that any day we look down at the grass instead of up at it is a good day.
For the most part, I don’t think about age unless I have to.
Honestly, when asked about my age, I have to stop and think and often calculate how old I really am.
Sure, I see my kids getting older, but that’s just them. I can’t be aging, too. Can I?
And that brings me to the other milestone: the wedding of my stepson.
He was just 12 when he came into my life. He was slight and somewhat insecure but had the same fierce independent streak that I see in his father.
Though he only lived with us on and off in the past 20-odd years (has it really been that long?), he has always been an integral part of our family.
I’ve watched him get taller and weather a variety of complicated life situations. He’s gotten and lost jobs, moved here and there, and tried multiple times to try to find himself.
And through it all, I saw him as that sweet 12-year-old who was unsure of his place in my world as well as his own.
That has all changed.
Now living halfway across the country, he has matured into a caring and thoughtful young man. I never imagined that he was anywhere near ready for the responsibility that comes with marriage, but the years that have passed have been good to him.
Seeing him dote on his fiancee and her ill mother proved that all those lessons we tried to teach and thought we failed at did manage to hit home.
In the days and hours before the ceremony, he took charge of the situation. He sought advice when and where needed, then considered each answer carefully. Wise decisions were made and he showed us what a difference a few years can make.
It made me proud.
Mostly though, I was happy to see how happy the past few years have made him.
We may not always be able to feel or see so clearly the differences that come with each birthday, yet they are there. The years have a way of sneaking up on us, and try as we might, we can’t slow them down.
— Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.