Strange weather in Tennessee this year… and I’m not just talking about the outside kind… With winter really just a week long cold snap followed up by a very short spring and then wham…It’s Summertime! Heat and humidity and flowers blooming at least two months ahead of schedule… and the allergies are everywhere ! WOW. Everyone in my house has itchy eyes, scratchy morning throats and sneezing ! No one worse than my oldest… Jessica.
She sneezes dozens of times a day, and that’s with medication. She’s NEVER had allergies to speak of before. I’m guessing it has something to do with me, or my wife or the fact that she’s now eighteen or maybe her pending graduation.It’s like life and our un-expected spring-summer- sneezing allergy season has taken us all by surprise.
We all knew spring was coming after winter, but it was just SOOO fast this year and we’re all caught a bit off guard by it. I know Jessica was a junior last year..but It’s really weird when reality kicks you in the gut. I’m watching as her life seems to be speeding up as it’s flying by me… I hardly noticed until now, but the spring calendar is ticking off dates like the odometer in my SUV. Faster and faster, it seems like we’re burning through the hours and days like a fuel injected hemi on a deserted two lane desert highway… (whoa) Sorry – Roadtrip adrenaline kicking in 🙂
Seriously, I’m watching my daughter have some of her last sneezing fits of a fading childhood in my house… those kleenex, like gas money are some of the last things she’ll be able to “borrow” from me for a while and it’s painful to think…next spring she will be in college and sneezing through it all on her own. No dad, no mom and no daughter in the house. Now I’m having an itchy nose and watery eyes… but not from the allergies, it’s a daddy’s tears.
I’m so proud of her.
Can’t really describe all of the amazing qualities that make up my daughter… but if you have ever met her you know. She’s shy and outspoken, strong and fragile, beautiful but uses no makeup, classic but not boring, witty but not irritating, sassy but not rude (usually)… she’s smart but hard-working, she’s disorganized but always on time. She doesn’t fit any profiles or stereotypes… way to complex for that. But one thing for sure… she’s honest and true and faithful and loyal. No stronger friendship can be found. She is Jessica Elaine and I can’t wait to see what she’s about to become.
In high school she’s a 4.0+ GPA student and in May she will be graduating with all kinds of academic honors. She’s worked hard and long and sacrificed much to do it, keeping up with a part-time job at Windfarm cafe’ as she cracked her academic books late into the night…. I’m seriously proud of her. She’s grown up even better, stronger, purer than I could have ever – possibly – dared to hope 🙂 I have God and an amazing wife to thank for that… but in the end, I’m trusting that same God to carry her fully into adulthood, once step at a time, praying all the way. I’m trusting my little girl to her heavenly father, something I knew I would have to do eventually…
But for now, I’m aware…very aware that she’s going away this August and when she does, I’m afraid I’m going to have allergies ALL the TIME. In the meantime, I’ll hold her, and hug her and tell her how much I love her, and when I get the chance… (June 2012) I’m taking her on an epic – end of her high school years – west coast roadtrip ! An amazing, –I’m not gonna let you ever forget me – kind of week exploring in the beauty and sophistication that is the Pacific Northwest.
I’m gonna Carpe’ Sneezum with my oldest this spring. What will you do to preserve and celebrate and honor your kids ? It doesn’t matter what it is…or why, just do something.
Do something really special, something unique and something they love to do… make the effort, take the time off and invest one more time into your “little” one’s ! I’ll bet you it will become a life- long memory that you will share and keep forever. Not many opportunities like that still remain….
For Jessica… it was her dream west-coast roadtrip, for some it maybe a Washington DC discovery weekend, for others a return visit to a favorite beach… find your way to “that place” however you can. Senior years of high school only come once and then they are gone…. better sieze the day while it’s still shining !