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THROUGH the years, I have seen a steady parade of children of family members, neighbors and friends, and likened that feeling to sitting comfortably by the window in a car, while it zips through rows upon rows of colorful houses near the highway. 

The only difference here is, while the houses stay rooted as they are, the children ever so slowly, have transformed themselves so that through time when one was looking the other way, they have already grown up into adults, with many already having families of their own!

I have written so much about our children in our family’s compound and have been witness to three generations that have already passed through its rusty and dilapidated gate. Their neighborhood rugrat counterparts have likewise morphed like them, starting out as babies and tykes too, who may have at one time held your hand as you chanced meeting them with their parents outside for a while.

Then, they have shot up to becoming lanky young men too, with some who could now outdrink you and laugh as you nearly pass out. Sadly nowadays, as most of the area around us had been demolished and transformed, our former neighbors have relocated elsewhere, all except for a few who remained, young lads then, now mostly old and wiry grandfathers.

I’ve only seen a few of my former classmates, and much less their children since we have all gone our separate ways after graduation. However, there’s still always a special thrill when one does. The moment you realize that someone who had once been your equally-awkward companion in school a long time ago, now has a family of his own and enjoys the affection of beautiful children, is always priceless.

I get the same unique feeling when it comes to fellow musicians. While nowadays through social media, I could see how some have raised their growing children, I cannot stop but imagine that once upon a time, we had been boisterous and carefree youths who never even talked about, much less imagined the future we have now. The added value of some of these friendships had been becoming close friends with their children, especially for some who had already passed on. The most special treat however, is not only having had the opportunity to have met a few of these second gens, but also playing with them on stage. That for me, was a completed circle right there.

In the end, zipping houses by the highway may not even really be the best comparison to the magical world where children reside. And because we have also once resided there and had now permanently exited its gates, we also know that Neverland it isn’t.

Nevertheless, it’s an unforgettable way station where everyone has passed through, during the length of our separate-but-connected journeys. Just outside its gate, there’s a wooden bench. From there, I could watch and reminisce the coming and going of youth and life, comparing it with my own comings ang going, then my friends’ and finally those I hold dear.

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