I did intend to have my own children but somehow that plan just didn’t quite get executed – so one of the great pleasures of middle age has been watching some of the children I have known via friends and family grow up around me. It’s the catnip aunt role – you just get to be cool without the responsibility of being an actual parent 🙂
One of these kids became part of my 50th birthday celebration. I have known her since she was a baby. When she complains she has never been to Paris, I get to tease her about the time I spent with her and her mom in Paris when we would take her to restaurants and just pick her up on the way out. Taking a cute kid into a restaurant in the Latin countries is like bringing a cute puppy 🙂
She is now a teenager – but not the usual variety. Instead she is the kind of teenager who can fit easily into a sea of adults. She was the youngest person at my party, yet fit in seamlessly – and may well have been more witty and erudite than some of the adults 😉
One of the unexpected highlights of the birthday was reintroducing her to another friend of mine who babysat her one night when she was a child. They were the right pair to team up. As Yvonne’s boyfriend said, “how do you play Christmas?” When you ask a little Jewish girl what she wants to do and she says, “play Christmas”, not everyone would have a game plan. But her mother and I came home from dinner to a house fully decked out in Christmas magic in the middle of July – and Morgan went home with Christmas presents. It was a classic story for them to bond over during the weekend – although there was some suspicion it might not have been the concept of Christmas that was so appealing as the idea that you might get presents 🙂
This was the first time in many years that I got to spend more than a few hours with her and it was a total delight. It is already obvious this is one of those girls who could help to change the world. She gives me faith in the next generation.
I have found one of the great rewards of getting to this ripe old age is that I can mentor young kids. It is especially fascinating to see what young women are thinking – and to try and encourage and inspire them.
And I have had a rather unusual life. So, fingers crossed, I will be able to connect her with the husband of another lifelong friend who is a theoretical physicist because apparently she is far more interested in meeting an actual physicist than in
meeting Justin Bieber – a girl after my own heart 😉
The first time I saw NYC I was 17. I took my niece to Paris when she was 16. I am definitely hoping to see Morgan’s reaction to one of those cities and share in her discovery. The best way to relive your youth is through an actual youth. I don’t need a Ferrari. I just need a teenage girl, a camera and a world- class city she has never seen before…