If this is a permanent condition, why did I have geographic tongue as a baby and than it disappeared until now (26 yrs later)?

Normal. Geographic tongue means that fuzzy areas on the top of the tongue disappear, heal then another area disappears, then heals again. It just moves around the surface of the tongue. So if it continues to do this, it stands to reason that there will be periods of time where it doesn't happen at all.
Chronic condition. It is usually a chronic condition exacerbated by certain food, stress, or hormonal influences in women (menstruating). Foods can include spicy foods, sour foods, citrus, walnuts, eggplant, tomato , sharp cheese, among others. Many of them are high in natural salicylates- found in aspirin. Do a search for foods to avoid online and see if avoidance helps.