Our Kathryn Rose, youngest daughter, graduated from college last weekend. It is one of those occasions, like a wedding, when I know I should only feel happiness for the blessing. But there is something about these milestones that emphasizes and exaggerates the passing of time. And that is always sobering, even in the midst of the gratitude.
We say, "seems like yesterday", "I remember when", "where did the time go" and other cliches that have become overused purely through their truth. A dear friend told me on Saturday that he had a very clear vision of Katie running around the bleachers of Josh's basketball games at about ten years of age. Then here she is, a grown woman...and the intervening years were but a blur.
I can call up memories of Katie from any time in her life. The snapshots in my memory are often the ones from ordinary days, not the big occasions. I hold those pictures in my mind and page through them, lingering on the ones that seem so clear that I remember the smells and sounds of the day as well. Her sweaty little face peering up at me, her eyes dancing in hopes that she can convince me to say yes. I think I did, way too often. The way she waited for her brother and sister to do whatever they were involved in by playing something that involved moving around. The way she bragged about her siblings to her friends. The way she danced. Even from the time she was little, she danced outside herself with freedom and abandon. She spent so much time dancing, it is very appropriate that she should have her degree in dance.
I am so happy that she graduated. I am so proud that she is an accomplished, generous young woman. I don't wish any of the years back, nor would I turn back the clock if I could. But I do look back with nostalgia at the time when three children made joyful noise and general mess in our home. When glitter stuck to the floor and little tiny pieces of paper cut outs went through the laundry in pants pockets. When the sound of a basketball bouncing somewhere nearby was the white noise of our home. When the days were filled with lessons and games and concerts and dances. They were very good days. I guess that is the reason I miss them so much.
But enough looking back. When Katie was little, she was always ready to go anywhere, any time. "Let's go!" was most likely her first sentence. Looking forward, I wish her the very same passion that filled her childhood. Go Katie!