Deep summer

Hank Mattimore
Reproduced with Permission

I had a long telephone conversation with one of my brothers the other day, We relived for a time some of those sweet moments of our youth. Recalling the teachers we had in grade school, the little neighborhood park where we played pick-up baseball and touch football games through endless summers, it was fun being able to share our experiences growing up in South Buffalo. What we were talking about were the never to be repeated moments of our boyhood. It was warm and rich and comforting to be able to be unashamedly nostalgic about the summers we passed as kids.

It felt a little jarring to be roused from the telephone conversation with my brother by a knock on the door from a ten year-old girl asking if I had a charger for her i-pod. The transition for this old head was a bit challenging and kind of humorous, too.

I felt for the umpteenth time that I'm a lucky old dude. Living in an intergenerational village, as I do, I'm surrounded, at the age of 76, with the life and energy of children. It's precious to be able to recall moments from my own childhood but for me, it's the forward excitement of children that stirs my blood. Living with kids reminds me that life is about what is happening now.

Did you ever have the experience of asking your kid or grand kid how he liked that camping trip or whatever that he went on yesterday. In my own experience, he or she will sum up the outing in less than two sentences. In a heartbeat, the trip is gone, kaput, over with. "C'mon Dad, let's play catch." Savoring those memories has to wait until they are into their adult years.

Living with kids makes it difficult for this old geezer to spend a lot of time reminiscing about the old days. The youngins will occasionally ask me what it was like when I was a kid (eight-year-old Mercedes asked me if I had an I-pod when I was a little boy) but, for the most part, they live in their own time and place. I suppose it is as it should be.

When I was a young man, I used to think that folks in their mid-70's were in the autumn of their years. No more. Not for me. Thanks to the opportunity I have to hang out with these bright and beautiful children, I am still in the deep summer.