Eventually, though, that number gets smaller and smaller. And soon it gets so small that it only takes a few seconds to think out how the immediate future is going to play out.
For me that moment came a few weeks ago. In a night of brutal realization, a night with tears, a night when I wondered when the hell did this kid in pigtails suddenly become a young woman buried in ACT test dates, clarinet solos and college application concerns?
I realized that, at some point, we crossed a line with her that can never be uncrossed. There was a point when her life went from being focused on having fun and just getting good grades, to packing every day with meaning and making sure the grades are good enough for what comes next: college.
And I’m stoked for that. Really. I can’t wait to watch her soar off into the next great adventure. But a part of me still kind of wishes that, instead of 18 months, we still had 18 years with her.
When a child is gone for a while, the absence of their energy is felt. And as any parent knows, that’s the energy that keeps you going.
So now you know why I hate math. It’s too honest. Maybe if I’d done the math a little earlier, maybe I’d have done more to make the most of my time. Then again, if I had, I’d probably have spent too much time worrying about getting the right answer, and not enough time enjoying the journey.
Eighteen months. Looks like I’ve got some living to do before she shoves off. Then again, she isn’t the only kid in the house. We still got the boy for several more years.
Robb Murray can be reached at email@example.com or 344-6386.