I remember at age 10 or so realizing that I would probably be alive in the year 2000. It hovered in my imagination, shiny and dreamlike, as I conjured a George Jetson world, where cars would fly and robots would serve breakfast.
How sad, I remember thinking at the time, that I would be too old to enjoy it.
My, how our perspectives change.
For the record, I was a ripe old 38 at the turn of the millennium. We spent a glorious week at the beach with my brother’s family and our close friends. The weather was unseasonably warm, and we celebrated with fireworks and confetti and sand castles. We baptized our toes in the chilly ocean by day and snuggled together to play games and read books and watch movies by night.
Our kids ranged in age from one to 10. Yes, 10. My daughter was almost exactly the age I had been when I imagined the year 2000 would be a big bust for anyone older than 20.
So, which is better? Being the 10-year-old blowing a noisemaker and tossing confetti in the dunes at midnight or being the mom who gets to watch her children’s pure, unbridled mirth. For me, there’s no doubt. Being the mom.
As a parent you get to both live it and watch it. You get to feel it and to know what a treasured memory it will become. Long after the child is grown, you know that this moment will bring her joy.
By the year 2000, I had survived cancer once and would go on to survive it twice more in the years ahead. I had a lot to celebrate then, and I have a lot to celebrate now.
The older I get, the more I realize that getting older is a gift. Every new year is a reason to rejoice.