My father was exactly the age that I am now when I was born.
Isn’t it funny how we never think of our parents as “our age?” Though I know intellectually that my father was a child, a teenager, and a 28 year old, he’s frozen somewhere between 30 and 40 in my mind, never younger, never older. It’s fascinating for me to imagine my parents at a barbecue, cold beer in hand, watching their friends coo over tiny me, one of the first in a string of newborns that would transform them all from young lovers into parents. In other words, it’s hard to imagine my parents as, well, me. My peers. Exactly where I am now.
And yet, if you took my 28 year old father out of these photographs and planted him in 2011 Portland, OR, he’d blend in seamlessly. We might have to get him some TOMS, but otherwise, you’d never be able to tell he was from another generation entirely. The gap feels wide, but I suspect it’s rather narrow. I suspect, if we were all the same age, if I’d met my parents at a barbecue, we’d have been friends. I like that.