"I met my high school classmates tonight!" Mr. B. declared one night during our trip. "I haven't seen them for decades!"
"Did you recognize them at all?" I wondered.
"Oh yes, I did. They are all very successful now. Doctors, dentists, businessmen, making lots of money, with kids in high school or college." Mr. B. added.
With that last statement, I saw a hint of melancholy in Mr. B.'s eyes.
"I miss those carefree days." he said. "Things were so simple then. I wonder how things get complicated as one gets older."
I don't understand too. Mr. B. showed me a picture of him with his first teddy bear Bonami, an understuffed pink and white creature in oversized shirt and shorts. "He must be in Toy Heaven now." Mr. B. added. "I think I was happier then."
"Are you not happy now?" I asked.
"I am, but it was just different when I was younger. I see my classmates being parents now, some with marital problems, some with kids problems, and I think to myself, how did we get to this?"
I didn't answer Mr. B. I think that is part of the human experience. One goes to school, learn some craft, work, make money, raise a family, and the whole circle of life begins again.
In the end, I believe Mr. B. was thankful that the people he once shared a few years of his life with as a young boy all gathered to see him again. It was an evening full of stories, of catching up and a promise that they will keep in touch. They may have grown apart over the years, but they all have something very precious in common - a shared childhood.
As for me, I am happy to take the place of Bonami as Mr. B.'s loyal companion in life. If Bonami was a part of Mr. B.'s old world, I am a part of his new world. And I promise never to leave him.