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Changes …

While shaving one recent morning, I noticed that summer must be changing into winter because my son was actually wearing something in the way of pajamas. He asked me when I first started shaving. In too few seasons, my son will be shaving. I first shaved because my stubble was so sparse and light-colored that it made me look grey.

I think back to those younger years. Seemingly everyone couldn’t wait for change ... of any kind. We would go on carnival rides to change our equilibrium. My favorite was, I think, called something like the regurgitron. My daughter now has a driver’s permit, and those racing, dizzy, spells of imbalance and fear are back in my life again. One of my biggest changes was being permitted to drive a car. Now I can’t drive because of the gas prices. I used to be stubborn about what kinds of cars were the best. Now, I simply do not want to drive an automatic, because I’ll be darned if a machine is going to tell me when to shift.

We couldn’t wait for each year of school to finish so we could do something different during summer break. Then we couldn’t wait for school to start again so we could do something different than summer break. We looked forward with anticipation (and some dread) to the prom. My daughter might be going this year and I again feel dread and anticipation. We dreamed about getting a summer or after-school job to earn some extra money. Now I have nightmares of having to work an extra job so I can have a little extra money.

I used to watch the girls walk by. While my son and I are talking about him someday shaving, my wife walks by the bathroom. I guess some things don’t change. My son doesn’t chase girls yet, but some of his girl classmates pay extra attention to him and high school girls keep saying that he is “soooo cute.” I guess that it is no change that some fathers live vicariously through their children. I used to belong to so many groups and organizations; sports teams, declam, debate, school plays, chess club, band, choir, church groups. Now I attend so many group activities; work, school board, city council, chamber of commerce, church groups, honorary senior citizens. As a teenager I used to know it all, now I know so very little ... except that my children seem to know it all.

Changes and lack of changes go hand-in-hand. Television has reruns and remakes. Soap operas still need cleaning up (pun intended). Theaters are showing remakes of previous movies. Singing stars are releasing remakes of earlier hits by other singers. You can see the “retro” look almost everywhere; the PT Cruiser, furniture, museums, my closet. I was watching the TV news, until I discovered that it was the run-over, tail end of an old VCR taping after a late night movie.

While I am thinking all of this, I notice that some of my beard stubble is sparse and “light-colored.” I hurry and shave it off.

I guess the more some things change, the more they stay the same.