A decade or so into adulthood, he could look back on his childhood and laugh at his young ambition—that cockiness, the absurdity of his pubescent dreams. How little he knew to think he could be a pilot or an investment banker. From this side of the fence he was pleased by his adult irony, pleased to be able to look back on those passions and smile at that boy rather than detest him.
But his feelings did not stop at gentle indulgence, just as his life did not stop with the fullness of young adulthood, the endless excitement of new possibility. Over time the boy in his memory came to seem less amusing, seemed even to grow in stature and authority, until eventually that boy seemed to be mocking him—the adult that very boy had become. As though the boy had somehow stayed apart, had his own life, or been frozen in time without becoming the man he now held in such contempt.