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The Boston Globe

South

Beverly Beckham

The numbers, years, keep adding up

I had a moment last week. It was my youngest child’s 36th birthday — not a benchmark, I know. Not 16 or 21 or 30 or 40. But startling nonetheless. All the numbers are: Friends’ ages. Years married. Years out of high school. The year 2013.

If the devil himself had appeared at my door in those few minutes when I was trying to figure out exactly how my baby got to be 36, I would have followed him into a you’ll-have-to-pay-for-this-with-your-soul time machine to go back — not specifically to the day my youngest was born, but to a few weeks, a few years, even a decade later.

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