Sometimes, when i see people walking down the street, or I pass someone at work, or see someone at church I stop and think "these people were young once, they were children, babies."
If I am really in the right mindset, I can see mind-pictures of them very young, with faceless, Charlie-Brown Voiced parents helping them walk or feeding them peas which they get all over them. I see them a little older, running around the house or out into the yard, playing with a dog or in the sprinklers, maybe slowly reading a book or watching snowfall through a window.
This way of looking at people has gotten bigger as I have gotten older. I used to only do it with people already younger than me, usually High School or early College age. But in the last few years it has grown exponentially, encompassing older and older people. Recently, I have started to see it in people who must be grandparents or even great-grandparents. I see them as I imagine they were decades ago, straight-backed, full of life. It is sort of a bitter-sweet ability. Seeing then as they may have been when they were young helps me feel connected to them, but I also wonder how their life has gone. Did they accomplish the things they wanted, do they have loved ones to support them, do they know the Lord?
It also makes me think about when my children will be old. What will they be like? Looking at my daughter now, small and rambunctious and adorable, it is hard to think of her older, grayer, maybe with a stooped back, liver spots. Her hands now have trouble holding on to things because she is still learning to use them, her wrinkled hands then may struggle to hold on to things because they will start to betray her. Now she has trembles to go up the stairs, she will then as well. It makes me wish I could spare her from it somehow, or at least be there to pick her up like I do now.