Life Paths: A Tuesday Slice of Life

I received an unexpected text yesterday . . .

There were three of them.  Sitting in my office, I looked to my left where my phone sat on a charger.  Lighting up the screen, a text alert had just arrived.  I leaned over and peered through my new spectacles, feeling a sudden and pleasant sense of surprise overtake me as I read the name; wow, the text came from one of my very best high school friends, Matt.  And, I could tell, photos accompanied the message.  Feeling intrigued, I took a brief moment from reading email and slid the message right to unlock my phone.  And there they were, three of them; the message read:

“Grandson and I in San Diego!”

Above the words, three photographs of Matt and a small baby boy, only a few months old, adorned the small iPhone screen.  I felt a smile creep across my face.  “My gosh,” I thought, “he really is a grandpa. Amazing.” 

My mind suddenly jumped decades back in time, and I found myself in Matt’s backyard in Portland, a place we often spent weekend nights in sleeping bags when we were thirteen.  We constantly talked of the future in those days: Who would we marry?  Where would we live?  Would I become a music star someday?  We dreamed together, and, as young boys, we wondered…where would life take us?

Turns out, life took us to different colleges, different countries at times, and down very different paths.  My oldest daughter will be nine in a few weeks, while Matt’s oldest just had her first baby in her mid-twenties.

But gazing at the pictures, at Matt’s face, he somehow seemed the same to me– still the boy I looked up to as a kid and whose friendship I still cherish to this day.


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

8 thoughts on “Life Paths: A Tuesday Slice of Life”

  1. I love the pace and structure of your piece. Slowly seeing the text…then flashback to your 13-yr old life…then reflecting on your differences and ending with what will always be – a strong friendship! Thanks for sharing. Your post made me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is amazing to see the differences in lives. I have sons in their mid 20s and high school friends with muuuuch younger kids, as well as other high school friends that are grandparents- yet we are all the same age. I loved your slice- looking back and looking forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Old friends” are always with us in one way or another…that closeness never abates even though we don’t see them much. What a nice way to start your day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is always humbling to step back in time and take a trip down memory lane with people from our past. I love the “peered through my new spectacles” detail which indicated to me that time had lapsed before knowing the contents of your text. Glad you are still in touch.


  5. Your post made me smile this morning. Observing others’ milestones in relation to our own lives gives us pause…I’m entering that zone now, as my daughter’s friends are getting engaged, married, having babies.

    Liked by 1 person

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