Father Time: Undefeated

There’s a saying about aging, superstar athletes that stay in the game a couple of years too long: Father Time is undefeated.¬†Twice this week, I was slapped in the face by that truth. I was reminded that my prime is behind me, and that with every passing day, I am simply getting a little bit older.

The most recent reminder was today when I went in to get my eye exam. Although my new prescription is just about the same as it was three years ago (yes, it had been three years since my last exam ….. don’t judge), the reality is my eyesight is worse now. During the exam, the optometrist had me try to read one of the smaller lines on the eye chart with only one eye. My defeated response to him was merely, “Yeah … that’s not going to happen.”

The other reminder was over the weekend. I was getting caught up on some household chores, one of which included laundry. When I have my kids on the weekends, it’s not unlikely for them to leave clothes in the hamper of their rooms. I try my best to get it all washed and over to their mother’s house so that they’re not without an item they may want or need for the school week. Well, apparently I missed the memo where my daughter graduated from what I will call ‘regular’ teenager underwear to items that can best be described as what would be modeled during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

#WTF?

I was left with the sickening feeling in my stomach that A) my little girl continues to grow up (despite all my mandates to her that she not), and B) that my life had become the Bill Engvall Show (see clip below starting at 13:18)

I know it will continue to get worse before it feels like it’s getting better. My little girl will be a full-fledged woman before I know it. My son will, in a couple of years, be looking down at me as he continues to sprout like a weed. There is no controlling the passing of time, so I guess all that’s left to do is roll with it.

At least I’ll be able to see these changes more clearly with my new glasses.

The Lighthouse

I was filling out a survey today, and I was asked for my demographic information. I was asked to place a checkmark in the box for the range in which my age fell. It was the second to last of five boxes. The thought that ran through my head: “Oh crap I’m getting old!”

With that came an avalanche of other thoughts, all of them having to do with the fact that time continues to press forward no matter how much I want it all to slow down. This includes the continued maturation of my daughter, and the corresponding realization that in less than four years she will be off to college.

I am sure all parents go through those moments of anxious panic at the idea that your little loved ones will soon leave the proverbial nest to live their own lives, and like me, I am sure no parent is ever really ready for their departure.

As much as I have confidence in the young adult my daughter has grown up to be, I still have to pause when I allow myself to think of everything that’s out there in that big, bad world of ours. Yet I know what I must do is place it all in God’s hands and be an undeniable truth in the life of my daughter.

I need to make sure she knows that no matter where she goes or what she decides or who she grows up to be, my love for her will never diminish. I need to make sure she holds as a positive certainty the fact she can always count on me.

With that, I give you the poem that was born out of this moment of panic.

LIGHTHOUSE

In the darkness of your unexplored world stands a lighthouse

Less remarkable with each passing year

Weathered … beaten down by the crashing waves and the salt spray

It’s shone it’s light bright for you

From your very first voyage, a casual perusal in the harbor

To your treks of discovery, each one taking you further and further from port

Now, as you prepare to escape the confines of the bay

And explore the vastness of the mysterious yet exciting seas

Your lighthouse remains prepared

Diligent … Steadfast …. Anxious

What storms may come? What weather may weigh down your sails?

Your course is uncharted, each direction a new opportunity

Each decision a tightrope walk between failure and success

Yet through it all, your compass remains true

A constant unmoved by the chaos that is ready to attack at a moment’s notice

Through it all, your lighthouse shines bright to help guide you through the unknown

To help you see when you cannot

To warn you of the danger that lies ahead

And to greet you with open arms as you find your way back home

Lighthouse