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 significant time in her life with all the joy and excitement that it deserves.

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Quick! Define literacy (without Google or Siri's help). Ok, finished? We bet that you may have stopped at the ability to read and write. Which, technically, isn't wrong. It just isn't completely right, either. Which is what Red found out when she discovered, much to her surprise, that it includes such critical areas as financial, digital, and health literacy.

Red even admitted to Black that she didn't understand all those terms, although she had another concern … was Black going to use her as a poster child for her lack of literacy skills in this month's column, "RED & BLACK … A Blueprint For Life?!"

P.S. – This month's column is in honor of September being Adult & Family Literacy Month.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Underlying photo by mphillips007 on iStock

Red's Head

I can't believe how quickly the year's flying by. And that tomorrow's already the fall equinox.

Black's Head Black

I cannot believe that you know that but did not know when Rosh Hashanah fell this year.

Red's Head

I got the dates mixed up. And I'll admit I had to look up the fall equinox date because it also varies slightly from year to year.

Black's Head Black

Technically, the equinox is not a day, but rather an exact moment – when the Sun crosses the Equator.

Red's Head

Picky, picky, picky. But if I remember correctly, although science class was decades ago, on the equinox, we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime.

Black's Head Black

Not exactly, but close enough. But, why are we even talking about this?
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Photo by Spauln on iStock

Initially, I just chalked this up to being "old" and accepting the fact I remember telephones before they were "smart" (and will admit they can make me feel "less-than-smart"). I am old enough to remember rotary dial phones (see the image above) where you had to place a finger in the hole associated with the number, then rotate the dial round to the end-stop and let the dial return under its own power. I will not go into the science behind it, but it was extremely reliable – although very hard on your manicure.

But, this is not about the history of telephones or the associated technology that has improved to the point computers that once required a large, air-conditioned room can now fit in your back pocket or handbag. This is not about us all (regardless of age) needing to be digitally literate. It is not about the fact the older we are, the larger the screen size we prefer, although we might claim it is a function of what we are used to versus admitting to declining vision as we age.

Rather, this is about a recent experience that first made me feel old. Then roll my eyes. And then open my eyes to an opportunity.

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