brother and my daughter
When it comes to family photos, I am like the Library of Congress. I have an entire cabinet of photo albums cataloging life from my childhood to present day. Since I am borderline OCD, each album is organized by time frame and by grabbing a single book, I can transport myself back to any moment in my life.
Over New Year's weekend my brother and his fiancee came for a visit from their home in western NY. At one point I walked into the family room and there he was, snuggled up with her on the couch going through album after album showing her what he looked like twenty some odd years ago. Going through old photos has some kind of magnetic pull, and next thing I knew, I was sucked right in to sitting there with them on this stroll down memory lane.
We were looking at pictures of a small family reunion we had back in the early 1990's, when my aunt and uncle had flown in from Germany to spend the summer stateside. As I commented on how young all the adults looked, my brother said, "They were probably the same age we are now."
At first I couldn't believe it, but then I remembered when I turned 37 in 2010 that my mother casually mentioned that it was when she was 37 that she and my father divorced. I was shocked when she said that because she just seemed....older than that. Now looking back at those pictures with my brother, I was once again finding it hard to fathom that our parents and my aunts and uncles were the same age we are today. The idea of it really boggles my mind.
I think it's because we are so much more active in our mid and late 30's than our parents ever were. My brother and I launched into a long discussion about how I, at 38, ice skate, snowboard, play tennis, regularly exercise and ride my bike. Both of my brothers continue to play hockey on leagues as they have since they were little boys. They both snowboard and bike as well. We have hiked and swam and had many, many flag football games together over the years.
Since our parents never maintained an "athletic" lifestyle, I guess the theory of how one is raised is out of the question. Yet as I look at my children, I hope that they will always find a way to keep their bodies in motion and remain active in their middle years. And if I influenced that even in the slightest, I will be proud.
Do you find that people are just more youthful at later stages in life, or is acting "our age" really just in our heads?
*sidenote: I went to pick up my neighbor's daughter at her high school yesterday as she wasn't feeling well. When I walked into the nurses office they said to her, "Your sister's here to get you." Winning.