Milestones

My oldest daughter graduated from high school this week.  This is one of those milestones that you reach and you remember for the rest of your life.  Her graduating class was huge – 850 kids.  That’s about 200 more than when I graduated, and I thought I went to a big school.  It was a nice ceremony, marked by the usual speeches and silliness that accompany such moments.  They show each of the kids on a big screen, just before receiving their diploma.  Some stood calmly and smiled, others danced or assumed poses. One guy pulled up his gown to reveal a college sweatshirt.  All-in-all, a day to smile and celebrate.

It hardly seems possible to me that my daughter could have reached this important point already.  I know that every parent feels this way – the time just flew by and I’m left wondering how this moment arrived so quickly.  Did I just go through this myself not so long ago? 

The whole space-time continuum is such a confusing thing to me any more.  Weeks rush by in a blur of activity and stress, and I wake up to realize the season has changed already.  I keep hoping time will slow a little, but life appears to be picking up speed instead.  I feel as if I’m looking around for a brake of some sort and finding an accelerator. 

A friend and I were discussing this very subject at lunch on Wednesday.  “I want my life to slow down,” I said across the table.  “I really like my life and I want to slow it down so I can enjoy it a little longer, or at least a little more attentively.”

“That’s the bitch of it,” she said.  “When life sucks, it seems like time slows way down, but when it’s good, it speeds up.”

I thought it over, and she was right.  “When I’m God,” I said, tongue firmly in cheek, “It will work the other way around.”

“When I’m God,” she said, “I’m stealing ideas from you.”

I’d like to think there is some tremendous reason for time to work this way – slow when you want it fast, fast when you want it slow.  I’d like to think that, somewhere in the master plan, it all makes sense.  Like maybe we have more good times than bad, so to balance things out, the time goes faster to make more room for the good ones.  I don’t know. 

Maybe the lesson is just simply to appreciate each moment.  I guess I could go all Hallmark card on that one, but I won’t. 

We’re hosting a party this weekend to celebrate this milestone with my daughter.  I’ll spend much time over the next few days cleaning house and getting food ready.  That will go slow, and the party will go much too fast.  I guess I’ll focus my energy on enjoying every moment of the party.  I’ll let you know how it goes. Fast, for certain, but I meant the concentration part.

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