I ’ve always found it interesting that sometimes there is a clear moment in your life when you know everything is about to change.
Defining moments in my life have been the loss of my parents, graduation from high school and college, my first job in my career, the birth of my kids and so forth. But one moment recently crept up on me and took me completely by surprise.
My brother and I took my son, Sam, and my daughter, Lucy, for a day of fishing from his boat on the Holloway Reservoir.
It was a fun day, though none of us caught any fish. Of course spending time with family and reminiscing about old times is part of the fun about going fishing. I was OK not catching anything, though a nice walleye or heck, even a bluegill, would have been a nice way to top off the day.
But we had to settle for just shooting the breeze with Sam and Lucy, who of course got to hear my brother’s stories about their dad when he was growing up.
Then, as we sat there, Lucy relaxing up on the bow of the boat with her fishing pole cast into the water, and Sam next to me in a chair baiting his hook with either a minnow or a crawler (it was probably a nightcrawler, he says the minnows squirm too much), I realized this would be the last time the three of us would probably ever be together, enjoying a fishing trip, in quite this manner.
You see, Lucy leaves for college today. She won’t be far away, but far enough that I won’t see as much of her as I once did. Getting together with her and my son for these sorts of outings will happen less and less over the years to come. Though I know I will see her and we will all spend time together as a family, the truth is she’s an adult and is setting out to make a life for herself.
My oldest bird has left the nest. It is a bittersweet moment for me, knowing she is off on her own preparing for the future, but at the same time having to let her go out into the world to make her way.
That moment, in the boat, with both kids enjoying a day of fishing with their dad, is one of those times in my life when I knew things were about to change. My life will be a little bit different now, with my daughter away at college and my son going into middle school – a year from being a teenager himself and two years from going to high school.
Someone once told me to enjoy those moments, because there are so few of them and in the end it wasn’t what we did with our lives, but how we spent our time here with the ones we love.
I hope my kids both know I love them, and I will always be here for them no matter what. firstname.lastname@example.org