Late Night Thoughts


Yesterday, someone reminded me that I have a birthday coming up in January.  I will be 53 then.  That seems like a lot of years to me until I remember that my mother is well over 91. 

She still lives alone, and in her own home, although she nowadays has a couple women who come each morning to do the chores.  My brothers have from time to time asked her to come live with them, but she won’t have it.  She’s too independently minded for that.

Despite that she relies on others to take care of the chores, she’s active and gets out of the house each day.   Her routine is to go to the post office and then eat lunch at her favorite restaurant, where she often meets up with a friend or two.  She’s not much for cooking these days.

I wonder how transparent I am to her?  How transparent any 53 year old is to someone of her age?

I know that people much younger than 50 are for the most part pretty transparent to us 50 year olds.  We often see right through them.  Just as an 18 year old can see right through a child of six.  So, I wonder if that’s still true at 90?  Do 90 year olds see through us 50 year olds just as readily as a young adult sees through a child?

I would bet my mom can see right through me.  Which means, that in some ways, nothing has changed.  She always could see right through me.

11 thoughts on “Transparency”

  1. Happy Birthday coming up. 🙂

    Wonderful thought. I’ve found though, as a young adult, children can see through me. There are a few that pick up the motivations and situations of adults with startling clarity. One little three year old girl can shoot you a look that feels like a much older and wiser person is staring into your eyes. I’ve watched another seven year old child gauge her father’s over protectiveness, seeing right through it and pointing it out. It’s unnerving to encounter children that can do that, because its easy to assume that you can put on a show for them and it will work because they’re just kids.

    And then, when dealing with much older individuals, I’ve found that I can see through some of them as well. Although that isn’t so startling. Haha.

    I hope your mother has at least another 10 years in her!


  2. I’ve had some experiences of kids seeing right through me, and enough experiences of older folk looking right through me that I do my best not to put on a show for kids and to try to not look through them. Its not easy but I figure we both appreciate it.

    Happy B-day and congrats to your mom for making it that long. I can barely imagine living past retirement.


  3. May the mantra ,” ALL IS WELL” work wonders for you in 2010
    and you have some fantabulous times in 2010
    and may all your dreams converts into reality, success becomes a routine and happiness becomes a habit in the days to come
    My motto for every year
    have a merry time making new year resolutions and a merrier time breaking them


  4. I agree with Briana. children are redoubtable people readers. They quickly find your weak spot and go for it unabashedly…and, at times, it hurts.
    Someone wrote: “No man is an island upon himself”. We are all more or less transparent to others wether we like it or not.


  5. An early Happy Birthday to you, Paul. I hope you had a wonderful new year’s and hope the rest of year brings you much happiness and blessing.

    This is a very thoughtful post. Something to definitely reflect upon…our transparency. But as Briana mentioned, transparency doesn’t seem limited to those who are younger and children are a great example of that. It’s unsettling sometimes how accurately and quickly they are see through you…

    Great topic, and as always so well written.


  6. Early happy birthday from me too, Paul Sunstone from the Rocky reagion!

    Very touching topic. Of course a mother can see through his kid, no matter his age. Children, I too noticed, they can see through us easily. But we also can see well through them. In general I agree there can be a relation between young age and a purer (more readable) heart. The older may see the younger through better, and possibly – except for children – the opposite is not true.

    Life is in fact hard at times, people with the passing years may have to learn how to hide their feelings – not to hurt, not to be hurt etc.
    Others, a worse case, close up while advancing in age plus there is temperament, clime, local culture.

    As for the latter, in a city in Tuscany whose name I won’t tell almost ALL people after 45 /50 put their heart like in a safe, never to open it up again. When you meet them on the street they express nothing, nothing is in their faces. You ask them: “Come va? How’s it going?” They invariably reply: “Ehhhh, si inveeeecchia, Ehhhh, we’re geeeeetting oooolder”, their tone like a lamentation. Unbearable.

    A little bit close to what Briana said and other agreed, to those who are fortunate to grow old ‘well’, with joy in their heart, transparency is also there. Growing old well. It should be taught, like Math, Greek, English. Especially in places, like ours, where the young are disappearing.


  7. That city in Tuscany reminds me of something I read once, about a child with a 1000 yard (~meter) stare.

    Too soon did it see into its own heart and know what lies within all hearts, hidden. To live as if it was not there is to be happy, but it is not to be true, nor is it possible to correct that which is not acknowledged.


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