Times Flies When Distance Parts You…

How did they get so old??

This year, a lot of my family are reaching age-related milestones, not to mention an first wedding anniversary and a new engagement so far already. So far we have have had twins turning 16… a 17th (Higher exam age in Scotland)… Most recently, on 9th May, an 18th… coming up a 21st… my own 20th…

So my question is – when did we all get so old!?

It’s like these milestones just snuck up on us and it irkes me, because I’m missing them! My little cousins turned two of the ages socially dictated to be the most prevalent in terms of a persons maturity (16 and 18) and because we live approximately 443 miles away from each other, I had no idea that was how old they were becoming until, in February  my mum informed me that in January this was how old the twins had become. The second instance was not quite so shameful; I was asked to sign the card for the 18 year old the week before we sent it, which was a bit of a hint.

As for my older cousin, who is turning 21 this July, he is going to be at sea in San Francisco working and will consequently miss both his own coming of age in America (while actually being in America, which is ironic considering he’s Scottish and had never been to America before this trip) but will also miss my 20th, or, as I am beginning to consider it, my termination-of-my-teenage-and-therefore-able-to-get-away-with-things-I-wouldn’t-otherwise-be-able-to years. This puts him in a similar situation as the one I am in with  my other younger cousins.

Now, if you are still following after this rather convoluted explanation of my family’s aging population, I think you to be a very intelligent person, because I am even struggling to keep all that crap in check.

I suppose my point is really that, while I have always thought myself very close to my younger cousins, despite the massive distance between us (equal to almost a return journey between here and the moon!! … Well, you might be able to pull and Apollo 13 and use the gravitational pull of the Earth to get you all the way back, but I wouldn’t put my money on that working a second time… that one seemed like kinda the luckiest, smartest fluke in the world…) but the fact that their graduating to these pivotal ages of development seems to have almost completely bypassed me gives me the sad feeling that perhaps this distance really is making more of a difference than I noticed.

I mean, that kind of makes sense; we see each other once a year, if we’re lucky. But I still always saw myself as the cool(ish) older cuz, who had wisdom and knowledge beyond their youthful years… Forgetting entirely that they are, in fact only two and 4 years younger than me. Hm.

Ok, I can still pull the “experienced and knowledgeable beyond anything you can perhaps imagine, though I wouldn’t put it past you to already be well informed as the internet is not the friend of children’s innocence these days” thing as far s the 16 year olds go, but with the 18 year old – not so much.

I would say that at 18 I was not so much more well informed in the deep dark ways of the world as I was this time last year. A lot can happen in 12 months, that’s all I’m saying.

As much as we can say, “distance will never come between us”, that can, in effect, become horse shit when the fact is, facebook and text messaging just do not instill the same level of intimacy as face to face conversing. Human contact cannot be replaced by technology, as wonderful as Skype is. Science says that your body cannot tell the arms of your mum from your own arms, it only knows you are being embraced, meaning that you can effectively stave off your own loneliness. You can convince yourself you are being hugged by a loved one while really just wrapping your own arms around yourself. However, the fact remains that if you admit it even for one moment, the illusion is broken, and you know you are just standing being a bit awkward and touchy feely with yourself.

I would say it’s “old age” that’s making me so sentimental, were I not so sure of being told that 19-nearly-20 is no age to be making such claims, but for sure, my missing of these dates are laying heavily on me. They come about only once in a lifetime, and I would rather not miss them so entirely. I really do feel so detached from them as if one of us really were on the moon, sometimes, and it makes me disappointed that, for all our technology and all our good intentions, staying in touch is not always as simple as it seems.

I hope to see them later this year, for our semi-annual catch-up, but there are no guarentees in life. Perhaps I’ll catch them on their 20th, 21st… wedding…

Ponderously wishing I were as indifferent to the passage of time as I was at my cousins age… oh right… they aren’t 12 any more…




3 thoughts on “Times Flies When Distance Parts You…

  1. The last time I was in Greece, which was the country of my mother’s birth and the place where most of my kinfolk live, was December 2002. My niece Anastasía and nephews Gregorios and Photios were very young. I haven’t seen them since. After a fire that recently damaged my home here in Ohio, I was going through garbage that the workers had thrown away in the aftermath, because I discovered that a couple of the nitwits had haphazardly thrown out things they shouldn’t have (undamaged clothes, books, legal papers, and more). A few days ago, in the last of my clean-up, I found a couple of drawing my niece Anastasía had made for me back in 2002. No doubt, teenager that she now is, she’s well past that sort of activity. I’m glad I recovered her drawings.

    I wouldn’t tell you anything about twenty being too young to reflect on these sorts of things; although I am a fair bit older than you, I don’t possess that particular bias against youth reflecting on such matters. In fact, I remember being twenty, and at the time I had a bit of an awareness of how my teen years had been wasted and relationships squandered. Contemplating these sorts of things, I reckon, is something one can do at numerous stages in life. The contemplations can range from fairly good-humored with a bit of bittersweet, as yours seem to be, or downright sinister.

    • wow my goodness that sounds absolutely tragic, i’m so so sorry for everything your family has been through. to suffer the lose of your home is not just a physical trauma and upheaval, it’s a complete emotional overhaul. there are all the memories, all the possessions… while i don’t think it’s good for people to be reliant of material, there’s no way to avoid it. all those photos and momentos, the little things that would seem like trash to someone who doesn’t know any better. for example, in my fridge i have an empty bottle. to anyone else, they might think i was just being dirty or untidy or lazy – but this is the empty bottle from the drink my boyfriend bought me the day he asked me out. I smuggled it out of the bar and have kept it.

      you seem to really miss your family, i hope you get to see them again. thank you for respecting the fact that young people can miss people too and that family can actually mean things to us also

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