So, apparently I'm old. And I can tell you when it happened; Monday, June 26 at approximately 8pm. There were plenty of witnesses to the event, too. You see, my daughter aka oldest kid aka Band Geek (sister to Jedi Boy) graduated from Grade 8. Officially a teenager since December last, and now, officially a High School Student.
So why does this make me old? Well, Gentle Reader - two reasons:
One - remember, it's all about Me. Or have you not been reading here lately?
Two - Things are changing. I cried a little as Band Geek picked up her diploma and a bevy of awards for those extra-curricular pursuits that Band Geeks...well....pursue. I was proud. Bursting even. And as hackneyed as it sounds, I sat there pining for the days when she was a bonafide little kid and I was Daddy and nothing was ever gonna change. There were even those lightening flashes of doubt. Could I have been (or be) a better Dad? Should I have done things differently? Yes and yes, I decided. I wanted a 'do-over', a parental Mulligan.
But I'm too late. It's changing. I can detect the subtle shifts even now - growing independence, newfound confidence, chafing under the authoritative yoke of The Parents. She has her own interests which, admittedly, still require the gentle indulgences of Mom and Dad. Me, I'm watching the old home movies more and more; recalling the good times when it was just Mom, Dad, and two needy little kids. Damn her growing up when I wasn't looking!
My single, irrational fear - wondering about the precise instant when Band Geek (and Jedi Boy, for that matter) will no longer be interested in doing The Family Vacation. For me, these have been sacred events. Just the four of us having an adventure. Together, we've walked on glaciers, shot whitewater rapids in silly divesuits, touched whales while hanging over the side of a Zodiac, scuba-dived in the world's largest aquarium, snorkeled with stingrays in the open ocean, taken Ghost Walks though Old Quebec City, seen every friggin' Pixar/Harry Potter/Disney/whatever movie on the big screen, geocached our way across the Maritimes, and spent way too much time riding Big Thunder Mountain at DisneyWorld.
Always just the four of us.
This is what I think about. I have loved every moment of our adventures, but Band Geek's milestone makes me realize that Things Will Change - and soon. In just a few short years it'll be boyfriends, a driver's license, Spring Break (not bloody likely), giddy weekends away with friends, a first beer, university, and.... her own life. Time will simply accelerate.
Ah, but I feel umbilical cord fraying.