We came back home from a family ‘brunch’ and hit the couch and bed to recover from the hectic morning. It wasn’t hectic in terms of physical activity, but the digestive and mental activities. The eating side was pretty simple: first tackling the decision on whether this was breakfast or lunch and then choosing the appropriate dishes. I was doing fine until a small anonymous hand pushed a plate with a thick wedge of chocolate cake at me and put my digestive system into top gear. 

The memory activities were not so simple. The function was in honor of the 12th birthday of my niece – who is actually a grand-niece. This was her Bat Mitzvah celebration. There were a few other guests from my generation. I recognized and greeted them all. Then there were maybe a dozen or so guests of my children’s generation and I knew them all, knew their names and their spouse’s names as well and even remembered each person’s occupation. They all belong to the generation who went forth and multiplied. 

The problem came with the next generation, the product of the multiplication, so to speak. My own grandchildren are no problem. We see them regularly, they all call me Pop and try and crush my hand to show how strong they are getting. It’s the other small children running around. The truth is that I have met or seen most of them before at other family functions, but I have never taken the trouble to memorize their names or remember which names belong to which face. Anyway, we all know that faces change dramatically between family affairs. So I stood lost, wearing my vaguest expression and the result was great. A great-niece – I think it was one –  brought me coffee, a grandson a selection of eats and then a small little girl (who must be related) arrived carefully balancing that wedge of chocolate cake. Sometimes it pays to forget…