Life in the Past Lane

By Michael

I held up the photo and asked, “Who’s this?”

Susan looked at me like I had just grown a second nose.

“Who’s that?”

“Yes, who is it?”

“You really don’t know?”

At which point, I’m taking one of those mental backpedals that sometimes save me from embarrassment but usually come much too late. “Let’s see,” I’m thinking to myself. “All the pictures in this frame are Stephanie and Todd and here’s this girl I don’t recognize, but she’s standing with Todd in a set of pictures of Todd and……


“I can’t believe you don’t recognize her.”

Yeah, me either. I mean, it’s one thing to have a bad memory for faces and another to forget what your daughter looked like in high school. Suddenly, I’m losing all hope for either Father of the Year or Big Room in the Nursing Home. All because Stephanie grew up.

I’ve had similar, though less embarrassing, experiences at many stops along the way to my dotage. Suddenly, one day, the girls would be so different from their prior selves that their earlier identities dissolved like a close-up of Joan Rivers. I sorta remember crawling on the floor with them, watching their 3 seconds of fame in dance recital or children’s theater or show choir….but it’s all a blur.

Of course, it’s always a blur. The first bath gives way to the first birthday and the second and the third, the first day of school and the first trip to overnight camp and then you’re at a housewarming at the condo and looking at a photo you can’t quite place.

Being a good PR guy, I know how to spin this one. You see, there have been so many wonderful moments all through the years that it’s impossible to remember the details of every one of them. I’ve been living in the moment, you see, and enjoying all the little joys along the way.

Yeah, that’s right. Now, what the heck did Susan look like in high school?

Michael Rosenbaum is 5 Minutes for Parenting’s first dadblogger. He is a business consultant, playwright and author of Your Name Here: Guide to Life.

Michael blogs on life issues at Your Name Here Guide to Life and manages the Adult Conversation discussion group on Linked-In.

7 Responses to Life in the Past Lane
  1. Kelly
    July 13, 2010 | 5:01 pm

    Nice spin. But did it work?

    Even those of us who are slightly younger have this problem. I was shocked a few weeks ago when I looked up baby pictures of our first son. I had forgotten how dark he was when he was young. There’s only so much my brain can retain. (And as my husband likes to say, these days, I mostly just retain water.)

  2. Tammy
    September 14, 2010 | 9:42 pm

    It’s not wrong for you to remember, but try…try to remember. Your daughter would be extremely hurt if she knew you didn’t even know what she looked like. I mean it’s hard to remember every single thing about your children and it’s frustrating, but you have to try to remember.

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