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blog: the road from beauty to becoming

Sep 12, 2014

the days are long...

September 12, 2014

Over the last few weeks Kim and I have had to say a temporary "arrivederci" to both of our twin daughters who just moved out of the house for their first year of college. Dear sweet Emily is up the road in Greeley, 100 miles away. The thought of having her in-state has been a little bit of solace. I left Rebekah in the Twin Cities and made the 16 hour drive back home alone, glancing often at the empty front seat next to me that the day before she filled with her characteristic gushing of passionate thoughts, feelings, and words.

I saw lots of other somber dads like myself, hauling van-loads of boxes up to tiny dorm rooms that didn't look like they would hold the contents but somehow did. I think they too were trying to hold themselves together, doing our usual masculine dance of focusing on tasks rather than feelings, putting a brave face on this difficult situation. Maybe I am projecting. I imagine you might even celebrate a bit when your teenage son moves out, since you're driving each other crazy, but not with a daughter! My heart is still wrapped around their no-longer-tiny fingers. Of course I'd jump in front of a truck for my son, too, even though he might feel sometimes like pushing me in front of one! (Love ya, buddy! ; )

While attending a parents' meeting at one of the schools I heard it said that as a parent, "the days are long, but the years are short." Man, is that ever true. Like a river, life rushes forward. You can't stop the current. You can't call time-out. You can use memory to visit images, sounds, and smells from the past, stirring up feelings of nostalgia that I have heard others talk about, but haven't been so much a part of my reality. Until now. Is this the turning point in life where you increasingly look backwards? A beautiful chapter has come to a close. A beautiful new chapter awaits us. At least that's what they tell me. I'm trying to believe it.