Here in Greece we have a saying: από μικρό κι απο τρελλό μαθαίνεις την αλήθεια, which means something like: young people and crazy people always tell you the truth. And it is usually the truth that you are not yet ready to hear.
I was driving Emmanouela (my oldest niece) back home from her afternoon gym class and we were talking about her teacher. When I asked her how old she thought she was she replied: ‘not THAT old, around 40’. It hit me. I might not be there yet, but I am certainly getting there (way too fast, if you are asking me). And I laughed. I laughed hard and she gave me that puzzled look. What the hell happened to her? she was probably thinking. What DID happen? Reality happened!
I remember when I was her age, I always thought that people in their mid 30s were old. Yes, that is how I saw it. 20 something was really cool but 30? way too old. Anything over 50 was grandparents material. Definitely. No doubt about it. Now, just a few years later (yeah right) I am there. In my own mid 30s. And I felt old for a minute (with all due respect to anyone older than 40). It didn’t last long. It was just a minute to realize how fast time IS passing by. This is one of the perks when having nieces/nephews/children of your own. You get the chance to re-live some of your own childhood, not as a protagonist this time but merely as a bystander.