Posted May 4, 2011 by jimhigley

Step One: Take a close look at the little boy in the photo.

Step Two: Blink

Step Three: Well, you don’t get a step three. But I do. You see, the boy in the picture is my oldest son Kevin. He’s standing there – holding up five fingers to proudly tell his dad that he is “five” – and about to begin his first day of school. I not only remember that day. I remember the smell of the air. I remember the wind blowing through the leaves on the trees. I remember the feel of his skin. And wetting his hair down from his bed head.

I remember noticing his shoelace – a little too long – and telling myself that I needed to retie it so he didn’t trip.

I remember thinking what a long journey it would be from that moment to the end.

Then I blinked.

And today that little boy is taking his last college exam.

Truthfully, I’m not sure how to feel. Relieved? Amazed? I’m overwhelmed by the speed with which life moves. I’m so excited for his future. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m grappling  with the realization that the young dad who took that photo is also older. 17 years older to be exact. And it happened in a blink.

After my mom died, when I was a child, I found a poem in her purse. To this day that poem, written by a man named Heartsill Wilson, contains some of the most powerful words I have ever read. My favorite being:

“…but what I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.”

Life does move fast. But in between those blinks lies the opportunity for amazing days. Since that picture was taken, I’ve have a little over 6,000 of them.That’s how I’m looking at it.

Congratulations, Kevin. Your dad is not only proud of you. He has loved every one of those days with you.