Grown and Flown is a popular website for parents of children ages 15-25 that was planning to publish an article I wrote about how to help your kids make smart decisions about graduate school. Because I had worked at a Harvard graduate school for a long time, they asked if I had a photograph showing me and Harvard that they could use. “Not really”, I told them, “except for a picture at my son’s graduation.” They wanted it, so we scanned it in and sent it off. (Ultimately, they didn’t use it, but that’s not my point here.)
I love that picture. It shows a proud mom (me), my boss at the time (in his doctoral regalia) and Seth, the new holder of a master’s degree. Maybe I’d just had the perfect haircut. Maybe it was my outfit. But I looked great.
The bad news is that the picture made it clear to me that I don’t look as hot today. Twenty years have taken their toll.
Not that I haven’t worked hard to stay in shape. I use sunscreen, eat all the right foods, and exercise regularly. I wouldn’t change anything except my expectations to keep looking like I’m fifty-nine.
On the other hand, I know that if I’m lucky enough to be around for another twenty years, I’m going to wish that I looked then the way I look today.