Every week, I receive e-bulletins about my children which discuss milestones that each of them may be reaching (if they haven't already). There are all kinds of careful caveats to prevent ubër competitive parents from freaking out that Johnny isn't clapping yet or that Susie isn't participating in creative enough play, but it's been a pretty handy guide for me. More than once, I have wished that there was something like this for me and my thirty-something com padres. What to Expect: the Thirties. Or maybe, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being in Your Thirties. I would totally buy that in a heartbeat.
This month's chapter -- 31 years, 11 months -- would go a little something like this:
You may start getting e-mails, phone calls, or other forms of correspondence from former high school and college friends and acquaintances. In some instances, they are looking for a Big Chill experience. In others, they are just starting to revisit what they've done with their twenties, and for many people, that means reconnecting with people who meant a great deal or shared intense experiences during that decade. In still others, they are revealing that they have been diagnosed with a serious health condition, and would love it if you could sponsor them in a fundraiser for research for a cure for that health condition.
Yep, I received one of the latter e-mails yesterday. I jumped into an Olympic-sized pool of empathy for the guy. He was always so much fun, very easygoing, and for him to have Multiple Sclerosis is just crazy. I'm glad he contacted me, even if it was via mass e-mail, and even if it was to ask me to pony up some sponsorship coin for a bike ride fundraiser. I'll be happy to do it. I just wish that I'd kept in enough touch to know this before he got to the stage where he was mass-emailing about it.