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.
|I love history and understand that “Lincoln freed the slaves,” but the Civil War was about more than slavery. It was about preserving the Union, and about states’ rights (some things never change) and westward expansion. However, once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the war between the states would be forever remembered as a war to end slavery. Although I’ll admit that I’d never of Juneteenth until I moved to Texas. And I was surprised to learn it took two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves in Texas to be set free, but that explains why Juneteenth’s celebrated as the end of slavery in the United States. And why it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.|
|Change is never as simple as issuing proclamations. Especially since slavery represented systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity. Real change requires words and actions, and a change in mindset. Celebrating the end of slavery is noble, but it should also serve as a reminder of where we are and how far we still have to go. Ending racism is not as simple as saying it is wrong but recognizing that it still exists is an important start.|
|Every Father’s Day , when I think of Daddy, I think about alligators and turtles. I know that might sound crazy, especially as there are so many wonderful memories, but those stand out. As does the fact that every day, he taught me about unconditional love and was always there for me. And even though he passed away over 20 years ago, the memories are as strong, both emotionally and “visually”, as if it was just yesterday. And for that, I’m so grateful.|
|I know you are probably expecting me to talk about how Father’s Day is, in many ways, a form of “equal rights" since Mother’s Day was already in existence , or maybe the business aspects of it being a “ retail holiday ”. Instead, at the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, I will just say that dads always have a very special place in the hearts of their “little girls” … no matter how old those “girls” become.|
Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day!
|This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.|
|Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.|
|I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.|
|If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.|
|I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.|
|Not really. In the case of the American flag, they needed something to communicate a new nation fighting for its freedom . But remember when I gave Natasha a set of racing flags years ago?|
|How could I forget? It was a very difficult and challenging time. And although you had already made me realize that different people like to communicate differently , the problem with Natasha wasn't so much how to communicate with her as figuring out when. We were frustrated and walking around on eggshells because we never knew when she was in a good mood or a bad mood, when it was safe to talk to her, and when she needed to be left alone.|
|Sometimes flags are the perfect way to communicate a message when words are not an option.|
|Leave it to you to use racing flags to solve what seemed like an impossible situation in a way that was not only clever but appealed to her because of her love of cars and racing. And we know where she got that from!|
|It just seemed logical. As did the cheat sheet where I basically "translated" the racing meanings of the different color flags for your use. For example, in racing, a green flag can either be the start of a race, a re-start, or just displayed to communicate safe racing. With Natasha, it would mean it was "safe" to talk to her. In racing, a yellow flag means caution and to slow down, which needs no further explanation.|
|I remember her telling me, quite emphatically, that a black flag means "Go away." Which made me laugh because it just seemed so, well, appropriate, given that's something I could see you saying.|
|On the track, it means to go to the pits, usually because you are in trouble. So, I cannot argue with your comment about it being appropriate for me. But, keep in mind that a red flag means to "Stop!"|