Words & Banter

In The Blink Of An Eye

Actual photo of Red's daughter from 2008 when she graduated Pre-K

Color photo taken by Red in 2008, underlying image by 221A on iStock

When I was pregnant with each of my daughters, although four years apart, friends as well as total strangers, would tell me to enjoy every moment because it would all go by in the blink of an eye. Then, once they were born and it seemed like every waking (and even sleeping) moment was about them, every time I heard the phrase "the days are long, but the years are short," I'd roll my eyes, thinking, "Yeah, that's clever, but I doubt it." Well, as I sit here realizing that my youngest daughter has now walked the stage for her high school graduation, I'm feeling that although I didn't totally disbelieve those words of wisdom so many years ago, there's still no getting around the fact they were true.

Graduation was touch-and-go as they were forecasting heavy rain and potential flooding, but it seemed destined to be that she graduated yesterday, June 6, which was also D-Day. Maybe I was projecting my love of history, but I thought it most appropriate as while she's holding on to being a high schooler for as long as possible, yesterday's ceremony marked the beginning of her being "liberated" from high school and starting the next journey of her life when she enters college in a few months.

But I digress, as I often do, or maybe I'm just trying to avoid reality, something I've also been known to do, especially as I'm finding this a very bittersweet time. Of course, I'm immensely proud of her and what she's accomplished, and I can only imagine the possibilities and opportunities that await her. But I am overcome with emotion and awe when I look at the person she has become.

I look at her and see my baby. I look at photos of her growing up, and they all seem like yesterday. I wonder how someone can be five years old and proudly going off to their first day at kindergarten or bravely going to sleepover camp for the first time to – seemingly overnight – becoming a high school freshman standing on the high school volleyball court for the first time as a junior varsity player or heading off to that same sleepover camp as a junior counselor. Or a million other images that come into my mind these days …

Because the memories seem endless, as do the photos. And each one makes me smile, makes me proud, but also makes me a little sad because they remind me of days long gone. But yet while the word "bittersweet" is so apt right now, I know that as I look at her, not only as my daughter, the high school graduate, but as a beautiful young lady who's ready, maybe more than she realizes, for the next stage of her life, that perhaps it's time for me to get past the bittersweetness of the moment … and celebrate this incredibly significanttime in her life with all the joy and excitement that it deserves.

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It’s January, and everyone’s probably tired of reading about New Year’s resolutions.

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Not me. Since I never make them, I never feel the need to read about them.

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Of course, you don’t. So, what should we write about?

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How about that we celebrate some of our favorite things in January?

So many “National Days” in January are fun (we’ve written about them over the years) and remind us of some of our favorite things. (Can you pick which are Red’s favorite holidays and which are Black’s?) And whether or not you make resolutions, it’s always important to have a sense of humor and enjoy the simpler things in life …

Answer: Red’s favorites are Bagels, Popcorn, and Hugging. Black’s are Clean Desk, Bagels, and Backward.

Wishing you Happy 2024 – with new beginnings and much more!

Photo by AlexRaths for iStock

The years may fly by (they say the older you get, the quicker time flies), and how we spend New Year’s Eve (see below) may – or may not – change, but our wish for a Happy New Year remains the same!

And although we may be counting down to the end of 2023, it’s important to appreciate each and every day of the new year.

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I remember when I was growing up and old enough to stay home alone (long before the movie “ Home Alone”) on New Year’s Eve. Our parents may have gone out to celebrate, but I had the perfect evening. Before they left, they’d get me my favorite takeout Chinese food (again, long before the days of food delivery services), and I’d savor the egg drop soup with wontons and a large container of pork fried rice, knowing that I didn’t have to share with anyone. Then, I’d settle in for a night of old movies on TV, only taking a short break to watch the ball come down in Times Square , before going back to watching movies for hours. (Long after my parents had come home and gone to sleep.)

Fast forward more decades than I care to admit, and my favorite way to celebrate New Year’s Eve is pretty much the same. Except now, what would be even more perfect would be to have my daughters home with me.

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I started to say that Red has always needed to get a life, but the reality is that I understand why she likes a quiet New Year’s Eve and has created her own “special” tradition. Over the years, I would celebrate New Year’s Eve by going out to a “special” dinner with my spouse or significant other (if applicable) and dear friends. The funny thing is the older we get, the earlier we return home. We tell ourselves it is because we do not want to be on the roads with the drunks, but that does not explain why we all admit we usually are asleep well before midnight.

Whether celebrating by yourself or with others … whether you find yourself feeling extra warm and fuzzy and reminiscing at midnight, like Red, or being pragmatically optimistic, like Black, who will raise a glass and toast her friends as well as the promise and hope that the new year offers us all … we want to wish you,

Happy New Year! And may 2023 be filled with health and happiness, love and laughter.