Jersey Boy (aka A Punch In The Face By Father Time)

Before we left for our trip, O made it clear to JQ that he wanted a Michael Jordan basketball jersey for his birthday. Jordan has recently become his new hero and being that we were going to Chicago, I thought we would have little problem fulfilling his birthday wish. After we set up the booth at the art show, JQ and I had a few days to explore Chicago before The Artist Project began. In between dining, viewing art and being awed by the architecture, we walked all over downtown, looking for a white, #23 Bulls Jersey with the name Jordan on it. Luck, however, was not on our side. Though we did find Jordan sporting gear, there was nothing that resembled a formal jersey. How could this be? Jordan was one of the greatest players ever to play the game of basketball and a hometown hero to boot. How could it be that we couldn't find a jersey with his name and number on it?

Then it dawned on me. Jordan hadn't played basketball with the Bulls since 1999... nearly ten years ago! I began to realize the chances of us getting the jersey were virtually nill and the chances of new jerseys being produced at all were even less likely. More so, I was becoming aware that I was considerably older than I had recently given thought to.

About two months ago, I was getting an eye exam. My ophthalmologist has known parents since they were all in high-school, so there is some history there. As we were conversing, catching up in Cliff's Notes fashion, I asked him how he was doing. He looked at me with an expression of both humor and concern, and replied, "Jared, I'm going to be 60 this year. I'm getting old. How did this happen?!"

Indeed, how did this happen? It doesn't seem that long ago that I graduated from college. I think about the mid-90's to present and can easily bundle up that time into what I'd perceive as a five year span, as opposed to the actual fifteen year span. Denial? Perhaps, but I really believe age is irrelevant. It reminds me of a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright that I recently heard. He said, "Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." I think the lesson for me in this circumstance is to enjoy each moment. We've heard it all before, but I'm finding real meaning and benefit in living each moment now. I certainly am in a better place than I was out of college and I hope the next time I reflect on the last fifteen years of my life, I will be able to do so with the satisfaction that I made each of those fifteen years count. In the meantime, I'll be on Ebay trying to find a Michael Jordan jersey for O... and not thinking about how old I am.