Sunday, April 09, 2006

Age and Experience

I had a strange moment yesterday morning. We were sitting in our kitchen discussing possible home renovation plans with a contractor/acquaintance, Bob. This is someone who knows what happened to us but has never outwardly acknowledged Alex our our loss. Not making excuses, but he is an old country bumpkin type guy who isn't probably comfortable with any sort of personal discussion, let alone THAT discussion.

So anyway...he says, "Things happen...life changes." Steve and I looked at one another and nodded our heads in that sad, understanding way, as we both said, "We know." So Bob says, obviously not understanding the implication of what he was saying, "I'm sure nothing's happened to you that hasn't happened to me two or three times."

Now I don't know that he hasn't lost a child. In fact, it's quite possible he has. But in that moment, I felt as though the years between us melted away and my experience equalled his age. Suddenly we were much older than the 34 and almost 35 years we have lived.

I'm going to have to be careful not to discount everyone's age and experience. But I can see how it could easily happen. I realized it was there when talking about the young and naive. I never imagined it would translate to someone older. But age just doesn't matter. YOU haven't been through what WE have...YOUR experience can't speak to OURS.

I guess it's true that age is a state of mind.

1 comment:

kate said...

Yes, this stuff does make you old. Sometimes i just feel so ancient, especially when i think of the time before we had Nicolas.

And you are right, age does not always translate to experience. That was a stupid thing of his to say, knowing as he does that you have lost a child.