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Carol Perkins: Eighteen Again

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By Carol Perkins

By next Tuesday, I will have wrapped my arms around my son, his wife, and our three grandchildren for the first time since Christmas of 2019.

When we were deciding on a date to travel (after all adults had been vaccinated), we had two choices, and I wanted both. Luke, our oldest grandson, turns eighteen on May 6th. On June 2nd, he graduates from Anderson High School in Austin, Texas. (This school is larger than Edmonton.) My idea was to fly down for his birthday and then take a driving trip (17 hours) for his graduation. Guy opposed. "I'm too old for two trips "back to back."

I don't call three weeks "back to back." However, each graduate was issued only four tickets, which covers his mom, dad, brother, and sister. I never dreamed I would not be part of my grandson's graduation, but Covid has caused many disappointments.

As for Luke's birthday, Guy had a clever idea.

He remembered a song we both loved that George Burns recorded in 1980, "I Wish I Were Eighteen Again." Guy said, "Why don't we sing that song to him." You probably know Guy well enough by now to realize how out of character this will be. Luke will be stunned!

When I read the lyrics again as an "older person," I realize that this is a sad song. It's all about aging, and "young folks don't understand the words this old man's got to say." The chorus, "I wish I was eighteen again and going where I've never been. But old folks and old oaks standing tall just pretend. I wish I were eighteen again." I almost broke down over my keyboard over the realization that I'm NOT anywhere near eighteen.

Would I like to be eighteen again? Maybe. The only thing I remember about turning eighteen was being a freshman at EKU and celebrating that September 6th with my new friends at a place called "Specks." (Where Exile played many nights when they were young and on the rise.) If I could relive any part of being eighteen again, I would choose my eighteenth birthday. I hope Luke's eighteenth birthday will be memorable, too. He certainly will remember our duet.

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

Video: George Burns - "I wish I was 18 again"

This story was posted on 2021-04-30 07:13:11
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