Father’s Day is coming up, and it seems a fitting cap to an interesting time in the family.
Last Wednesday was our youngest grandson, Jaden’s, graduation from 8th grade. Now, I’m not a fan of graduation ceremonies, but this one was poignant. In the past year, Jaden has grown 4 inches, his voice is changing, and he has the shadow of a mustache. He is now a full-fledged adolescent. In a few months, he will walk onto the high school campus, leaving childhood firmly behind him.
Two days later, Jaden’s sister, Brooke, accepted her high-school diploma with a smile that lit up the high-school stadium. A collage of honors ceremonies, water polo games, and school dance photos flashed across my mind, but the memory that is the brightest is Brooke with her nose in a book.
As the sun slipped behind the mountains, the grads sang their alma mater for the last time and caps were thrown in the air. I felt my throat tighten and my eyes tear up. The embrace of the school system is suddenly gone. And parents step back. Suddenly, our sweet girl is considered an adult. It went so fast.
The next event was a bridal shower. Grandson Zeke and fiancée Lexi will be married in a few weeks. To use an old phrase, This is a match made in heaven, and angst was not invited to the party. Amidst the finger sandwiches, iced tea, and cookies, family and friends visited. Of course, there were games, gifts were opened, and the bride was fussed over. We even had two ethereal visitors. Sitting outside in the shade of a huge elm tree, two monarch butterflies circled each other in a delicate and intricate mating dance. How beautiful and how fitting, I thought. Brooke said, “Eww,” but then she is a newly minted adult.
In a few days, we will go to eldest grandson, Micah’s, 30th birthday party. How could I have a 30-year-old grandson? I think this event may be a bit wild, because this grandchild may grow older, but he will never grow up. Every family needs someone like Micah who keeps us on our toes. Unfortunately, unlike Micah, we sometimes lose our balance.
Among the family events, we went to the play The Sound of Music. A tiny little girl with two little ponytails on top of her head played the youngest Von Trapp child, and she stole the show. With ponytails unraveling, she danced and sang, delivered her lines, and sometimes just bent forward and yawned. I leaned over and said to John, “We need one of those.” He smiled and nodded his head.
Life does go forward, but every so often it seems there is moment when you take a step out of time and look at the continuum. John and I are now the elders of the family. When we celebrate Father’s Day, we remember the dads in our midst. But slyly, John and I anticipate the future dads. Maybe in the mists of time there is little girl with straggly ponytails and a winsome smile. I can’t wait to meet her . . .