Now which one was it?

At what age does it happen? At what age does one start to look fondly on the youngers coming up and wonder what marvels (and mundanities) may await them in their own lives? I’m not necessarily speaking of the parent-child connection; I’m meaning more generally the meeting of older world citizen to younger world citizen.

Last night at Amazing Things open mic there was younger fellow with a crop of hair short in back and extra long in front, shielding his eyes; a faded white Tony the Tiger t-shirt and an relatively new looking guitar. He was set to go on pre Feature performer while I was post. With an unassuming air he sat behind me next to an older fellow. I thought them to be two compatriots on the open mic circuit.

“And now it’s time for our talented high schooler,” Dan Cloutier said, by way of introduction. Right away my competitive edge (yes, I have one) softened and the aura of ‘elder’ suffused my consciousness.

At what age does this happen?

The teen shuffled up on stage and proceeded to blow us away. Playing guitar sparingly (turns out he’d been playing for five years) his high tenor voice rolled forth in strong, self-assured timbres, delivering his message with fortitude.

At the break for the Feature I turned back to again express my esteem for his craft. They, or shall I say the elder gent, his father, was apologetically donning his jacket. (As seems par for the teen male species, there’s rarely a need for cover in  thirty degree weather.) “Gotta head home – this being a school night.”

I nod supportively in parental agreement. This is the age it happens.