“I hadn’t realized the time had crept up so quickly,” said a high school friend upon hearing the news of Brendan’s birth. It’s funny, because I’d been thinking about how time passes.
When I went to work Sept. 3, it was summer. We were having irritating thunderstorms, and the air was like soup. I already knew some of my summer plans weren’t going to come to fruition. I didn’t master my golf game — in fact, I only got out on the course once, and I hit some truly terrible shots. I didn’t get on the bike trail and work my way up to 50 miles.
When the three of us left the hospital Sept. 5, it was fall. The days were noticeably shorter. Now, I’m a little chilly when I stand outside with the dogs at 6 a.m. Summer seemed to end with one phone call and one rush-hour trip to the hospital.
And yet, it’s beautiful. The sky is the friendliest shade of blue these days, the air feels as fresh as it can in an urban area, and of course, we have a week-old son who is already starting to show an interest in the world around him.
Hearing from high school friends also makes you aware of time passing in other ways — years and years going by. The time between my 10th and 15th reunions seemed awfully brief.
But it’s easy to think in a different way and realize that things aren’t necessarily speeding by. Sure, summer came and went, but it felt like Jen was six months pregnant for eternity. It’s hard to believe I’ve been out of high school so long, but then I remember that these people keeping in touch with me now all knew me when I was basically an obnoxious nerd with straggly hair whose mother dressed him funny. In the 16 years since graduation, I’ve learned to channel my obnoxiousness and cut my hair. Also, nerdiness has come into vogue — as one fellow former geek said, if we’d come along a few years later, we could’ve been Weezer.
So on this day, I’ve honed my geekiness to a palatable or even chic version, and my wife and son can walk with me (OK, one’s in a stroller) on a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
The golf course and the bike trail can wait.