You may not have noticed, but my daughter just turned 18 yesterday. She's also just graduated from high school.
Now, both of these events have been coming for a long time, and we've seen graduates come and go.
But this time, it's different. It's my child.
That seems so strange to me, because she's not a child any more. Oh yeah, she's living at home, but now the game is being played in ernest. The decisions that she makes have life changing importance.
I remember my turning 16, getting keys to the car, and earning my Eagle Scout award. These were all a big deal for me, and all within a few weeks of each other.
But turning 18? Not as big a deal as you might think. At least, not for me.
It occurs to me that I have missed out on most of the development stages of her life. That is, for the majority of her life, I have been working evenings and not been there. That is, most of the time, she's only interfaced with me on the weekends, and as she's grown older and more independent, that means less and less time at home.
Its even worse with my son. My daughter was 2 1/2 when I started working for this TV station, and I was involved in getting her from daycare and spending time with her...until I started working nights at this station.
My son has never known a time when I have not worked evenings and so have only been around in the weekends or in vacations. Is it any wonder that she's closer to me that he is.
I recall my father being at work during the day, and frequently away on sales trips around the nation. I didn't recall missing him, but now that he's gone, I find that I'm in a worse position than he was. Totally having missed my son's growing up.
So, if you have any suggestions for a nice 18th birthday present or graduation gift, or one that would serve both, let me know.
And, no, a car is not going to happen.