And though we may chose different paths, I have a pretty good idea that our destinations are the same…
Summer hanging on. Heat hangs like a vine on a chimney….but people are moving faster now. School beckons. And the growing up (or growing old) continues, or commences, depending on where your head is at.
Football is nearly for real….which means lifestyle changes for some. Weekends that were once made for something else, have now reverted back to the natural order of things. Vacations, if you were lucky enough to have one….are likely over by now. We just returned from a 3 day dash to the beach….where we gazed at the Atlantic Ocean together, as a family, for maybe the last time. Kids are getting restless, ready to move on. My oldest girl starts college in 3 days. Close, but not close enough as far as tears go, but 90 minutes away still means the house is gonna seem a bit empty….and a bit quieter….than I’m used to. Nobody makes me smile so hard as my Alyssa does….and my loss is only somewhat salvaged by the fact that it will surely become the Moravian College community’s gain.
My baby girl starts high school at the same time….so the new life events are doubled. My Kiera is brilliant, beautiful, and bound for glory. Nobody works harder at making things look so easy. At times she makes me so proud I start feeling like a balloon in a room full of pins. So I’ll stop gushing before I rupture something.
I’d wish both my girls luck but they’ve proven to me over and over that they don’t need it. Their sturdy character will get ’em past whatever obstacles this world might toss in their path (…and of course I’ll be there with a sledgehammer, just in case).
The days are getting shorter. Me and Kiera went searching for sunset pictures at the beach 2 nights running and mis-timed it twice, watching helplessly from traffic the last night as the sun dove into the bayside horizon. Another 2 green lights and we would have made it. Ain’t that the way life is sometimes though? Some nights the straightaways are simply filled with late yellows and early reds. One good thing about the sun though. It’ll give you another shot. And that’s about as fair as you can hope for these days.
There’s no school for parents. You fumble and stumble through and try to do no harm. If it feels wrong it is wrong, and if that’s the only thing you stick to as your kids grow up I think you’ll do Ok. As the father of 2 stunning girls I’ve certainly been rolled more times than an Idle Hours bowling ball…..but there were times when I held my ground, and it was these times that made me a father. It’s shit easy to be your kid’s friend. Not so much being their Dad. But they know this now, and sometimes (through clenched teeth) will even admit that I was (maybe…sorta) right all along. I’d take on an army for both of them, but that doesn’t make me special. It just means that I take my duties seriously enough to earn my pay. And to paraphrase Mark Twain, my girls, who once considered me the dumbest man alive, are now amazed at how much knowledge I’ve seemingly gained in the last 3 months.
It’s so easy to be cynical, it almost seems cheap. We seem to tear down instinctively, out of fear. We build up only upon reflection. Maybe what we need is more time for that reflection. Less mad dashes to and fro, less 30 second snatches of the 24 hour news cycle, less device clicking and more eyeball to eyeball. We all know that to understand each other we need to walk in each other’s shoes. So why don’t we take the time to lace each other’s up?
I’m as guilty as anyone. I try and I fail and I try again. I walk and I fall and I try like hell to get back up before somebody runs me over. But I get so preoccupied with my own journey that I don’t recognize that you’re on one too. And though we may chose different paths, I have a pretty good idea that our destinations are the same. And that they involve our children.
We should commiserate more, no?
In a bit…