I Remember That Feeling

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I was talking to Gwen and she expressed concerns about what life will be like after college.  Will she be able to find a job and make enough money to become self-sufficient?

I told her, “Of course you will.”  Then I went on my merry way.

A few days later, I got to thinking about that conversation and how I dismissed her concerns.  I remember having those same fears at her age.  It seems like a distant memory now, but at the time it was real and stressful.

I realized I owe Gwen an apology for not paying attention to what she was saying.  Instead of dismissing her concerns, I should have told Gwen I understand what she is feeling and it is normal.  I should have been more empathetic and reassuring.  I should have reminded her that I am here to help in anyway I can.

 

Milestones into Adulthood

Growing up I looked forward to achieving certain milestones, because it meant I was entering adulthood.  It seemed like it would take forever for me to get a driver’s license, finish high school, and get my own car.  I counted down the years for what seemed like eternity.

However, I achieved those milestones about thirty years ago.  It boggles my mind how much time has passed.  I am now watching my niece become an adult and she too has achieved those milestones.

It just doesn’t feel right.  It seems strange somehow.  Do you know what I mean?

 

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Thinking About Long Lost Roommates

I got my Bachelors and my Masters from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Texas.  While I was an undergraduate, I lived in the dorm and had several different roommates.  I’ve lost track of them over the past 20 years, but I think about them from time to time.

I wonder how their life turned out and what they are up to now.  We are no longer young and naive.  We are now middle aged and full of life experiences.  I barley resemble my college age self.  How have they changed as a result of their experiences?

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First Steps Into Adulthood

Gwen took her first steps into adulthood today.

We went to Calhoun Community College to finish up a few things for registration.  Gwen got her student ID, picked up her parking pass, and went to the bookstore to buy supplies for her first class. I watched her walk around the campus and I couldn’t believe she is now officially a college student.

Gwen’s first class starts next week and I am so proud of her.  I have no doubt that Gwen will work hard and do her best in each class.

 

Watching, Thinking, Feeling

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While I was watching Gwen’s graduation ceremony last night, I was thinking and feeling so many different things.  My mind and my emotions were in a terminal.

I was thinking about the day Gwen was born.  She was 3 months premature and only weighed 2 pounds 2 ounces.  She spent the first three months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Her tiny body was covered in tubes, IV’s, and even a respirator.

In spite of all that, Gwen thrived.  That’s when I knew Gwen has the heart of a fighter.

I thought about her favorite book as a child, “A Fish Out of Water.”  Gwen would laugh every time I read the story to her and never seemed to get tired of it.  We must have read that book a thousand times.

I thought about her favorite cartoon, “The Legend of Grimace Island.”  She would watch the cartoon and immediately after it was finished, she wanted to rewind the tape and watch it all over again.

I tried to sneak in other cartoons, but Gwen was not having it.  She only wanted to watch that one cartoon and made sure everyone knew it.  She stood her ground on that issue.  After all, she is a Thaler and we are one stubborn bunch.

Memories of Gwen riding a bicycle with training wheels and eventually learning how to ride without those training wheels flashed in my mind.

As a small child, Gwen was reluctant to try new foods.  I helped her overcome that reluctance by giving each new food a creative name.  Curley fries became slinky fries and chow mein became Chinese spaghetti.

Flash forward several years and that little girl is all grown up now.  She has a driver’s license and a high school diploma.  She is not a child anymore.  She is now entering the adult world.

I am proud of Gwen for her accomplishment.  I am excited to see what she will do next with her life and how she will begin to impact the world around her.

I am apprehensive about her entering college and getting a job.  She will have to learn to fend for herself in this world.  I will not be able to protect her in the same way and that scares me.

I am also sad, because that little girl is only a memory.  I miss those years of innocence, playfulness, and the wonder in her eyes as she discovered the world around her.

Last night, so many memories and feelings ran through my mind.  I am sure I experienced every emotion known to man all in one hour.