I want to say happy birthday to my son. I won't tell his age because it will reveal my age. I will say he was born on April 3, 1970, in Aurora, Ill. We were both much younger then. I am sure we would both agree, the years have gone by fast.
When he graduated from Manila High School and went into the Air Force, I thought four years was such a long time. The four years turned into 23 years of service and as I look back – it passed very, very fast.
As all parents know, the births of our children are among the happiest memories we will ever have. A new baby is always a wonderful miracle of life.
Among the milestones of our lives include our babies being born and our babies growing up and leaving home. We know it is the order of life and we can be thankful for the years – every birthday, every ballgame, every vacation, every event we shared with them.
Thankfully, our memories don't stop with our children's childhood ends, new memories are made as they get married and their children are born. Some of my best memories today include sharing time together when all 11 of us can manage to get together under one roof. We have gone from a family of four to a family of 11. We are about to add one more member to our family as our granddaughter is getting married this week.
As I said before, time moves on and it is nice to look back but it is good to look forward and make new memories.
Talking about memories reminds me we have a new group of seniors about to graduate – the Class of 2018. Our son graduated in 1988 and our daughter graduated in 1991, both from Manila High School. We have had two granddaughters graduate from Riverside High School – one in 2014 and one in 2017. That leaves us three to go and I hope we are around for all of the graduations.
High school graduation is a big step in the lives of our young people and parents. From the first day of their kindergarten year, we know it will some day happen but when it arrives we are not as prepared as we thought we were.
Graduation will be here in a few weeks if we are ready or not. Remember, graduation is a happy time even if we do shed just a few tears. I always think back to 1988 when a friend told me – “you don't cry when they graduate – you cry when they don't.”
As each milestone comes and goes, we should look forward to the next one.