I still keep in touch with a large cadre of high school friends; it helps that many of us attended the same great university, Penn State, but it's also significant that many of these people I'd known since kindergarten or even pre-school.
Yesterday, the first of that group turned 40.
So begins the hit parade that runs through the spring...I'm next to go, then Feb 24, March 5, April 7, May 17...and into summer...June 14, August 24...bang, bang, bang down the line (several birthdates I don't even remember, too). Not a big deal, really. I mean, if you're 39 already, 40 is just another number. However, I can't help but look back on my life and I always latch onto a question a teacher asked the class back in the heady days of the late 1970's: "What will you be doing in the year 2000?"
The year 2000 was only a concept then. It was so far off to a nine year old's eyes, when even next Christmas seems a lifetime away. One thing I remember was that I thought, with a sense of how unreal it was, that I'd be over 30. An impossible vision.
Well, as Pink Floyd says, "One day you find, ten years have got behind you..." and here I am on the cusp of forty. I don't really measure my age anymore except in terms of my kids. How old will I be when my son's X, when my daughter's Y? I'll be nearing fifty when my son graduates high school. I'll be nearing fifty-five when my daughter does.