It was crunch time and you could feel tension slowly draping my wife and youngest’s shoulders. Decisions are sometimes hard, especially when they’re very personal. It’s often easier for others to make a better decision for us, particularly when we’re young, but that’s more easily seen from the vantage of hindsight.
It’s a rough time in life when the whole world seems to revolve around you… just before it never does again…
There were only two short days left to put together the page of pictures for our youngest’s senior yearbook. A hurdle her sisters didn’t have to navigate. One that none of us close to my age or older could have ever dreamed about with our imagination stretched to its limit of possibilities.
In fairness to the youngsters that have yet another load of peer pressure dumped on them; it wasn’t their idea. The notion of out doing the year before has brought about the evolution of how kids do school and the extracurricular activities.
Our youngest has some characteristics that are eerily similar to her dear ole dad, especially when I was her age. She sometimes lives her life by the analogy, “Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow?” That’s approximately one hundred and eighty degrees in the polar opposite direction from the way my wife is wired. See where I’m headed here?
I completely get that it’s no easy peasy task for a seventeen year old to pick ten or twelve pictures to represent who you are, your priorities, and a life to date. Add to that a choice of hundreds and hundreds of pictures and you’ve got a pair of young hands full.
My wife pressed the youngest to help get the task off both of their “to do” lists for about a week before crunch time. Once crunch time counts down to hours after my wife’s prodding to no avail then the one-hundred-percent-type-A-full-blooded-Sicilian takes over.
The response for young adults our daughter’s age vary… but hurt feelings and responses laced in frustration and shortness seem to be the norm. And yes, at this point you could say that I am an expert.
After dinner my wife hauled out the loads of pictures from pre-computer years and started sifting through them. It doesn’t take long to forget your loved ones shortcomings. We reminisced, laughed, recounted family stories like a tradition, and sometimes sat silent, taking a sip of the past realizing life lasts just about as long as that drink.
When our youngest finally showed up after her play rehearsal she joined us. She picked through our pile we thought she might like to represent her life. She silently made her final choices and stacked them up at the end of the coffee table where she sat on the floor.
The next day I went to scan her pictures and found that our youngest had added some pictures that we hadn’t considered… pictures of her with her mom and dad when she was little.
Loved ones don’t always see eye to eye, but come crunch time, they always love.