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Escaping the “someday” trap

Photo credit: Flickr/Bill and Vicki Tracey

My niece is about to graduate from high school, as are the oldest children of my two neighborhood friends. Each is headed to college, poised on the brink of semi-adulthood. Each is pointed toward his or her particular launch pad. Ready or not, there they go.

I’m freaking out a little. And they’re not even my kids.

Not because OMG IT WENT SO FAST or even OMG I’M OLD. I just can’t take my eyes off the poignant beauty of a child preparing to leave the nest. All that freshness and potential energy ready to burst forth into the world. That combined with the crazy color explosion of Portland’s springtime is leaving me dizzy.

High school used to seem like a distant, almost theoretical land we’d eventually reach. But now that it’s within spitting distance (my son’s finishing 6th grade), I’m starting to feel the momentum build. It’s exciting but also unsettling because there’s a nagging sense that time is getting short. I find myself counting the number of summers left before my kids move out.

Rael and I made a list of all the places we’d like to travel with the kids before they leave. There’s no deadline on travel — hopefully we’ll travel with them throughout our lives — but it really brought into focus the need to extricate ourselves from the trap of someday.

This point was made even more clear to me during a visit last week from my parents. It’s time to grab every healthy moment you have with the ones you love. Inconvenience be damned.

As you head into summer with your family, ask yourself: how will we celebrate this time together? Then take one step further: make a concrete plan to do it.


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