Friday, June 12, 2009

The Sands of Time

On the way to the office this morning, for reasons that are not entirely clear to me, my mind drifted back to May 1991. I fixed upon the visual image of my brother-in-law Russ (Kara's husband) and me at Shea Stadium watching the Mets play the Cardinals. Actually I fixed upon the visual image of Russ at one of the Shea concession stands buying lots of stuff for his then-week or two old baby boy - their first born child - R.J.

Perhaps that memory separated itself from the rest of the memories stuck in the morass that is my mind this morning because on Sunday, R.J. shall graduate from high school. It is sort of an odd twist that the siblings closest to me in age (Jill and Kara, who are roughly two and four years older than I am respectively) have kids who are considerably younger than mine. The fact that I took the Chia Pet approach to forming a family likely had much to do with it, having gone from single man to husband and father of two school-age children in an instant, likely has much to do in terms of explaining that phenomenon. Regardless, R.J. is the oldest of Kara's three sons and is the first of her little brood to graduate from high school. And in the fall, when he matriculates off to the University of Tampa he will be the first of her kids to go to college. All things considered, Sunday is a pretty big day in the lives of Kara, Russ, R.J. and their little family unit.

At times it seems inconceivable to me that my nephew is old enough to be graduating from high school. It seems as if it was only yesterday that he was a baby. But then again it seems as if it was only yesterday that I had no gray hair in either my beard or on my head, which has not been the current state of affairs for quite some time now. He is a young man of eighteen. And he stands on the threshold of the doorway between childhood and adulthood, well-prepared by his parents to take the next step, excited to take it and comforted still by the knowledge that the support system that has nourished him throughout these first eighteen years shall be there to pick him up and help him....

...even as the next phase of his life takes him on a journey that he must make by himself.

-AK

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