Thursday, March 09, 2017

Don't Sniff the Shit

When you're younger, older people say things to you all the time that you either a) ignore b) roll your eyes at or c.) forget completely.  And it's ok. The old person is having a moment and you're not really obligated to be an integral part of that moment or to appreciate that moment or really, even to acknowledge. Thing is, young people remind old people of how they were when they WEREN'T OLD and that makes 'em talk. As long as you (as a young person) don't do anything egregiously disrespectful, such as burping and/or farting loudly as the old person is having their "moment," it's fine.

When I was in Kindergarten, I remember one of my teachers telling me that I was going to "blink one day and the next thing I knew, I'd be graduating high school." I remembered that moment, actually, when I did in fact, graduate high school. I briefly reflected that she was slightly correct: I did blink one day, but then it took another four thousand seven hundred forty five days of "blinking" before I got my diploma. But I understood what she meant: time sneaks while you're not looking.

My nephew is turning 20 tomorrow. In a nutshell, he's been going through some shit. It's the kind of stuff that, when you're in the middle of it, all you can smell is the shit. But I SO want to tell him that, in twenty years? That shit won't even matter. Hell, probably in FIVE years, maybe even less, that shit won't matter. Won't even be worth a sniff. But I'm just an old person, giving the equivalent of "One day you'll laugh at this." It's eyeroll-worthy, I know.

But the thing is, it's true. Because I'm an old person and I'm laughing at this shit. I'm not laughing at the heartache or the hurt or the very real feelings, I'm laughing at the living that you're able to do when you're 20 years old with all the time and possibilities in the world to wipe it all away. Heartache, it's a blip.. a shitty blip, to be sure, but nothing in the grander scheme of what's coming.

So, my darling Nephew, have a happy birthday... maybe shave off the horrendous nose caterpillar you've grown, as an old person who's seen you in diapers, it disturbs me. But above all, don't sniff the shit, not right now anyway. Before you know it, it'll smell like roses.

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