The lovely Carol is away for a few days; it's just me and our remaining teenager at home. I got up this morning and ran a comb through my remaining hair -- and I saw a white one!
The younger teen was reviewing her statistics (for today's exam) over breakfast, and asked me about binomial coefficients. She put rice on for おにぎり, which she'll take to a friend's house for a pot-luck supper.
We left the house at the same time -- I drove to the office so I could get home in time to see her before tonight's prom. As I pulled out of the driveway, I saw her in the other car, driving confidently off to school. Wasn't it just the other day I rocked her to sleep over my shoulder?
When I got home, the rice-balls had been formed and loaded into the Japanese picnic-boxes. My daughter had a coat of clear polish on her nails and her face was made up. It made her look more grown-up than I'm ready for her to be. We chatted away as she worked on her hair, then she disappeared to put on her dress.
Then she came out. Wow! We snapped a few pictures, and then her date arrived.
There is great joy in watching the kids grow up, a sense of fulfillment -- mixed of course with loss, as I've written before -- whoa, exactly a year ago!
And tomorrow we fly to the east coast to visit colleges, underlining yet again that I'm losing my baby.
Every day is a gift to be enjoyed. We get into all kinds of trouble, though, when we try to hold onto those gifts, try to recapture past moments -- fortunately, at least some of us realize this is impossible. As the Bible tells us, there is a time for everything -- a time to raise children, and a time to let them go.
And if I believe that God will bring me new joys in the future as he has in the past, I too can laugh at the days to come. May he help me do so!