There were five Wednesdays in July this year and that just makes it seem like it was months ago that my last column appeared.
With everything that has transpired since, it almost feels like it, too.
The column title is not really to indicate that I have anything to be discontent about, specifically, other than the world moving too fast for comfort.
A series of events over the last few weeks have reminded me, yet again, that time goes by all too quickly and don’t blink or you’ll miss more than you think.
My daughter is now a licensed driver. She’s had her license for a little while and the car is still intact, so it seems safe to share the news with the rest of the world. We have one car for two people and very hectic schedules so figuring out the routine once she starts back to school will be interesting. There are days I definitely need it – and some when I can get by with letting her drop me off at work and head to school. The first time she wanted to take it somewhere BY HERSELF once she got her license was definitely like a TV commercial with me and all the pets standing at the door waving goodbye. Well, I was waving; they were really just sitting there wondering why I didn’t leave with her so they could go do whatever they do around the house when we are both gone.
So my 17-year-old was given strict instructions to call or text when she arrived at her destination, not while she was on the way, and thankfully, she remembered to call. I also wanted an ‘I’m leaving now’ text when she left so I could judge how long it would be before she got back and when I should start worrying.
I’m sure every parent goes through this. And she still gets annoyed when she’s driving and I am putting on the imaginary brake on the passenger’s side … or warning her about the stop sign up ahead … or telling her she’s three miles over the speed limit…
Eventually I will learn to be quiet. She usually just turns the radio up anyway to drown out the mom-isms I am giving her.
And as if having her get her license wasn’t bad enough … she has now had her senior portrait taken for the yearbook. Her senior portrait.
How did so much time go by so fast? Wasn’t it just a few years ago she had her plastic yellow Sesame Street lunch box gripped in one hand and held my hand tightly with the other as we walked in to Magnolia Elementary for kindergarten? Wasn’t it just a few years ago we would spend every Wednesday afternoon in a special ‘mommy and me’ mode, my easy day at work meaning a half day, and after that, time was ours to share at the library, at the park, a trip to the movies, just something for she and I to enjoy. Now she’s excited about getting her senior portrait package and entering her final year of high school.
She even has a career choice in mind and did some rearranging of her schedule for this senior year in accordance with that. Sometimes I look at her and just wonder, when did she turn in to such a young adult with future plans and goals, something that lies further ahead than the weekend?
This summer has also seen our household move into the 21st century with the arrival of home internet service. I know; how have we survived? We did, believe it or not, but I finally broke down and agreed that it probably is something we need or, at least, could benefit from having. It will make it easier for me to work late nights at home instead of the office and she won’t have to worry about her phone’s data limit if we have Wi-Fi at home, plus she can have easy access to the internet for school projects. It was going to be a surprise but I was so excited about finally being convinced to take the plunge that I told her in advance.
She nearly burst into tears.
Before the words were even out of my mouth, she was calling a friend in Arizona to spread the news.
So now she can facetime and snapchat and instagram to her heart’s content. She may never come out of her room again…
But we still definitely have our ‘mom(my) and me’ times, such as a recent outing to a movie with another good friend that made us all laugh until it hurt. Or a spur of the moment dinner out when we don’t find anything appealing in the cupboard or the fridge. And I am forever grateful we have one more travel soccer season to share, for the memories of those early morning weekend wake-ups and sometimes long drives, for the sheer pleasure of watching her compete in a sport she loves.
I’m going to keep the camera handy this season, need to make sure I freeze frame a few moments in time … before she’s off to college and it’s just me and the pets at home.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.