Times Are a Changin'

I'm posting for 60 days straight, leading up to my early December birthday, and I'm making the time to write on behalf of slain UCC Professor and aspiring novelist, Larry Levine.

Friends in their early 40s just had their second child. The obligatory Facebook newborn pic looks cute and all. But they've got 18 years til he's off to college ... or whatever we're calling that stage of education in 2033. TWENTY THIRTY THREE. They'll be in their early 60s, give or take. SIXTIES. Even at my years, 60 seems, well, old.

Friends in their mid 40s are getting a divorce. After 20 years of marriage. And they've got two girls, both with middle and high school years ahead. But I get it. Why live in a miserable, unhappy marriage? 9/11 and random shootings and accidents remind us daily: life's too short. Why attempt to raise kids in that kind of toxic environment? Several other friends in their 40s are living sexless, angry marriages. I know because they've come to me for advice. Or at least for a sympathetic ear.

A childhood friend I'd been in pretty frequent touch with over the years dropped off the radar last year, without explanation. It used to bother me when people slid out of my life. But I realized the reasons were rational enough - a relationship ended, a job changed, a project wrapped, or someone moved. But this one has defied all logic. At first the silence was insulting and disrespectful. Now it's a bit comical as over a year has past. Life moves on. He and I will not. So it goes. 

Two teens left for college in late August and mid September. They left their divorced parents behind. Neither parent remarried, and the dad - that's me - is beyond thrilled at what this next chapter holds. Since he was the primary custodian following divorce in '02, he hasn't lived alone since ... well, ever. Married right out of school. Lived with roommates through four years of college and one year of graduate school; with mom throughout high school and with both parents in elementary.

The silence, so far, is quite golden. While the friends and former friend I've mentioned probably disagree, bring on the changin' times!