Silvery gray hair taking over my temples, aches and pains when I sit in one position for too long, the complete inability to down shot after shot and still function the next day... It's all gone gone gone, left in the hazy memory of my youth.
Some days I feel wise and experienced; others I'm fumbling toward decrepitude and decay.
But I never doubt for a second that I'll wake up tomorrow and the day after and the day after. Older, grayer, more dismayed at teen culture than the day before, more accepting of myself as time marches on.
There are people in my life who don't have that luxury.
My son has been terrorizing his little sister. I sat him down in a quiet moment today and told him my story. I shared with him that I wasted my childhood fighting with my sisters, with that sister in particular, and that I regret it every single day of my life.
As an adult, when her life is a struggle and she can take nothing for granted, I understand that she was a gift given to me when I was just four years old. But then? She was a brat, a nuisance, the kid who stole all the attention, who I thought had an easy ride.
We're both older now, and she's older than we ever thought she'd be. Yet I rarely see her age written across her expression or her attitude. She's forever hopeful, forever determined, forever young.
And so my age is showing. Time marches on and the gray strands will soon outnumber the brown and I'll eventually need to turn the music down in the car and I won't understand what the youngsters are talking about.
And I am so unbelievably grateful. (But, Lord, please let her ever remain by my side.)