Old Before My Time

November 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

Have I ever mentioned how there are times when it’s quite strange to live in a household with lots of younger children?  Six of us eight kids still live at home.  I’m the oldest there now and every once and again, I get hit with a rush of: “Wait!  How are my little sibs old enough to (fill in your random teenage activity, i.e., go to the mall without adult supervision, afford their own McDonalds milkshakes, attend a rock concert)!?”

It’s precisely that last one which prompted this thought stream.  Greg is going to a concert tomorrow night at the Crocodile Rock in Allentown.  It’s Owl City, so I’m not exactly worried about him breaking his young neck trying to headbang properly, but still… Young is the operative word.  When did Greg become old enough to go to concerts!?  Concerts at Croc Rock!?  I go to concerts there!  My brown-eyed baby brother (who used to sit on my lap in church and kick his fat little legs with their little green OshKosh overalls and baby sneakers) doesn’t! 

Apparently, though, he does.  Which is super weird and makes me feel old because I have memories of being at Croc Rock.  Memories of sneaking in through a side door to avoid the line, and finding a dark, scary, back staircase to the outside, meeting the Anberlin guys out back unloading their van while I was taking care of my drunken friend, and getting (semi) hit on by some burly security guard who thought I seemed “too sweet”, and bumping into the Hawthorne Heights guys practicing guitar on a landing of the aforementioned dimly lit stairway. (They were really nice, too.  I always had a soft spot in my heart for Hawthorne Heights after that.)  It’s odd and makes me think: “Wait.  If my younger siblings are old enough to do these things, should I be too old to do them??  Should I be further ahead in my life than I am now?  Help!  When did this happen!?”  And then the introspection sets in, and the frantic cataloguing of where I thought I’d be when I was 25 and where I actually am, and before you know it, I’ve had a mid-life crisis a mere quarter of the way through.

Other reasons why I feel old before my time:

  • Pete is one month away from being a teenager.  For heaven’s sake, I remember sitting at the Zelinka kitchen table, eating waffles for breakfast, when the phone rang and it was my Dad, calling to say we had a new little brother.  I remember I had put a lot of butter on my waffles and their syrup tasted different from ours.  Oh yeah and I was excited about the baby.
  • Cathy will be learning how to drive soon.  The following 35 second video is how I envision Cathy’s driving career:
  • Speaking of LOTR, it’ll be a decade next month since The Fellowship of the Ring came out in theaters.  OUCH.  I can conjure up that feeling of jittery anticipation as if it were yesterday.
  • Seeing little Pat Walters drink beer at my kitchen table (and grow a manly beard).
  • Knowing that Leo will grow up a Red Wings fan and being mature enough to realize there’s nothing I can honestly do to stop it from occurring.
  • If I’m home on a weeknight, I’m in bed by 10 pm.  Heck, if I’m at home on a weekend, I’m in bed by 10 pm.
  • I heard a song on the radio the other day and realized I used to have that album… on a cassette tape.
  • When I go to the beach, sauntering up and down the boardwalk in short shorts and flip-flops is no longer the highlight of my time there.  (It’s books and wine on the beach, in case you were curious.
  • Genevieve.  (Basically, everything about Gen makes me feel old.  Wahhhhh.)

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