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Reflection – Totally Off Topic…

My eldest daughter passed her road test yesterday morning (scored a 94)…she’s now street legal. I saw the tether that binds her to us start to fray and it was a bittersweet moment. On the one hand I had to choke back the tears of joy and pride in her accomplishment, on the other is the realization that she now has her wings and soon she will be on her own. (Of course it also means more gray hairs and sleepless nights waiting up for her to get home).

In preparation for her road test, Sam and I were driving nights and weekends. I would set up traffic cones in the the local elementary school parking lot and we practiced the staples of the test – parallel parking, 3 point turns, and the quick stop. I will cherish these moments together for as long as I live, and I look forward to the time I will spend teaching her younger sister.

I was of the generation of Harry Chapins’ “Cat’s in the Cradle”, and it was my biggest fear that I would take my kids for granted. I have great parents who were always there for me. To that end, I have always tried to be there for my kids, even if it meant coming home from work early during an important project or getting up early on Sunday to go to a Cello lesson . There have been times that I was on the phone, pencil and paper in hand working out a tough Algebra word problem if I just couldn’t be there.

This is the thing that really sucks about being a parent; all the toil and tears and sacrifice, the sleepless nights waiting for them to come home from dates, only to see them off to college, and later, walking them down the isle to give them away to their husband-to-be. For daughters, at least, it seems you are constantly giving them away.

Then there’s the worrying, always the worrying. I’m 47, happily married and relatively successful and still, my parents worry about me. I see the future, and for me, it isn’t pretty…

Still, I wouldn’t change a thing, especially after seeing the look of sheer joy and pride in my daughter’s face after executing a perfect parallel parking maneuver in the parking lot of the elementary school she attended only a few years earlier.

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