At the end of last week, there was an extremely minor disagreement here, between myself and Theodore. It was based on what appeared to be a very cute video of a girl aging from, well, pretty much 0 to 10 years old. But the long and the short of it is that while he found it innocuous, I found it a reminder of my own mortality.
Or really, another reminder of my own mortality. Which is to say, everything to do with my daughter reminds me that I’m going to die. This involves a bit of mental calculation: Okay, so I was 34 when Sasha was born, which means I can probably expect to spend at least the same amount of time with her before I kick it. Maybe a little more, hopefully no less. But that’s the baseline for my calculations.
What that also means is that every achievement I make in my life now—every post-34 achievement—is one that I might not get to see Sasha achieve. Any success, any momentous occasion related to my ever-increasing age, is something Sasha could very well achieve without me there to witness it. On top of that, everything Sasha achieves now is something that, if she has kids at the age I did, I might not get to see her children do.
And we haven’t even gotten into all the other things, like about how I’ll be 50 when she’s just 16, and how generally I’m going to keep declining and being unable to keep up with her. Whee!
Of course, things could go well. My ancestors were all fairly long-lived, so I guess I’ve got good genes. And I eat well, exercise, and don’t take too many risks other than constant overseas low-budget travel to weird places where I meet strange people and do whatever they suggest for fun. So, yeah, why should I worry? Indeed, why should you?