These Times: From 8-18 in a matter of seconds

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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So, I’m watching TV with Adam when Allison hollers for me to “come quick.” I’m thinking, this spider had better be giant for all this squawking she’s doing.

Nope, no spider. Her closet shelf was so loaded down that it broke away from the wall. (Coincidentally, this happened just hours after her younger brother had announced his grand idea of turning her room, which is right next to his, into his personal entertainment space — or, better yet, let’s knock out her closet wall and double the room size.)

I ran to her rescue, and the clock was ticking, for this closet shelf is jam-packed with the fragile mementos of her childhood.

I’m not sure if this was the best time to reminisce — with her going away to college this week and all — but there we were, together, unloading the giant bin holding her sweet little baby shoes and the adorable toddler outfits I couldn’t bear to get rid of, a stack of painted masterpieces from preschool, seven years of yearbooks, the butterfly bank she painted at her 6th birthday party, a Lisa Frank-brand scrapbook with all of her eccentrically wonderful comments by each picture, the uniform she wore during her brief stint as an Orlando Flames cheerleader and the Dillard Street Elementary talent show trophy she won for a repeat of her dance recital performance from Centre for Dance & the Performing Arts.

It was just yesterday that she was toddling and painting and scrapbooking and cheering and dancing. So how can it be that this weekend I was buying dorm room accessories and making an online payment for a college meal plan?

This is the moment that the often-heard phrase, “the days are long but the years are short,” kicks you in the gut.

If you’re reading this on Wednesday, I’m probably crying as our caravan is headed to Tallahassee to drop off precious cargo: my 18-year-old FSU freshman. If it’s already Thursday, chances are I’m still tearing up.

She’s off. She’s ready.

I spent 18 years getting her ready for this moment, this new adventurous phase of her life when she steps out on her own and applies all of those lessons I taught her through the years.

I just forgot to prepare myself.


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