Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Transition, 2.0: “The Heir” Graduates From College!

My oldest child Dan, known around my Crossfit buddies as “The Heir”, has reached a very significant milestone. On June 4th in front of his Mom and Dad, sister, brother, and grandparents, Dan graduated from college and I couldn’t be more proud. It’s an inflection point. Call it Transition 2.0. I wrote a little bit about graduations when Megan, “Lovely Daughter”, graduated from high school in 2008. Here’s an excerpt:


“The next stage. “Lovely Daughter” graduates from high school tomorrow. Now, in our family this would not typically be a very big deal, not a very big step. We are very fortunate chez Bingo, and by and large we try very hard to realize this good fortune. It has been for several generations not a matter of whether you graduated from high school but what you did and where you went from there. This was certainly the case with “The Heir”.

But “Lovely Daughter” had challenges that could not be foreseen, a difficult battle with illness that continues today, one that prevented her from attending school as a “regular” student for the better part of two years. With the assistance of Mrs. Bingo and others, but largely through the force of her own will, “Lovely Daughter” has been able to leave the darkness behind and live in the light (although, to be sure, the darkness lurks behind, always in the mirror, always there). Despite not being in school those years she will graduate on time, with her original class, 4.0 grade point in hand, and move on to her next step in college.”


Dan, on the other hand, was quite ready to move on to college some time in the Spring of his sophomore year in high school. Frankly, there were times that his Mom and Dad were ready for him to head off to college around then, too! Seriously, Dan is so bright and so able that it is always really just a question of ‘what’ and ‘when’ he will move on to the next great adventure, the next triumph. Maybe that’s why this whole college thing seemed to go by so very quickly. I mean, really, wasn’t it just last year that we were moving on from Jr. High to High School? Choosing all-boy parochial vs. public? And c’mon…I’m SURE it can’t have been more than 2 or 3 years ago that Danny (he was Danny back then!) was pulled, kicking and screaming and ferociously clutching the steering wheel of the mini-van on the way to kindergarten. Right?

Man, it all went so fast.

I tried to hold on to each precious moment. Really, I did. Even whacky stuff like lacrosse in a monsoon, I told myself I’d miss it when it was gone. Pay attention! Pre-school to grade school; grade school to middle school; middle school to high school; college to, well, who really knows? I really DO remember the graduations, each one of them. I was there for each of them, for Dan and Megan and Randy, both physically and mentally. As fast as it’s all gone I can make it slow down by playing the “tape”  of each one back in my mind.

It goes so fast, you know. All of it. It makes me wonder why people are always in such a rush to get to that next place, whatever that next place might be. Kids in such a hurry to grow up. Parents in such a hurry to have the kids grow up. I don’t get it. Even when it was tough–face it…this parenting stuff is nothing if not tough–I never really got the whole hurry up thing. Heck, it’s FUN to be a kid rolling in a big ‘ol mud puddle, and it’s fun to be the parent hosing said kid off after shooing him back outside after he fouled the front hallway. You just don’t get to DO that stuff after awhile.

I tried. Really, I tried to take it all in. To be OK with wherever and whenever we happened to be. You know, to be just fine with the graduation at hand and not so much into what was going to lead up to the next graduation. How’d I do? Man, it all went so fast, I’m sure I could have done a better job at it.

We are not promised tomorrow. If tomorrow comes we are not promised a “good” tomorrow. If we lead a virtuous life, whatever that may mean for each of us, we hope that our efforts will translate into a “good”, or at least “better”, tomorrow. Or not.

All we have is graduation today.  And every today has something, some thing little or big, that makes it a good day. Each of our privations, every challenge can be borne if we realize that there is some one thing, or some several things, that are good in each day. What we hope for is tomorrow, and that tomorrow might be as good, or better, than today. But what we HAVE is today. In the end, that’s all we ever have.

There was a time when I awoke each day and checked to make sure that I was still the father of a daughter. EVERY day was a good day. There’s nothing particularly special about this today, about Saturday June 14, 2011, except that this was the day we had, and it was Dan’s college graduation. Transition 2.0, but a day to cherish all on its own without too very much thought about transitioning to “what”. And I was there. Really, really there.

What’s good for you today? Who’s special to you today? Did you tell them? Do they know? You may not have a tomorrow you know, but if you are reading “Random Thoughts” you DO have today. You don’t have to be a parent for this to be so, but I’m here to tell ya, the today’s go reeeeeally fast. You slow them down by letting yourself be there, today. Because as fast as they go, there are really only two kinds of “todays”, good ones and great ones.

And man, they go by so fast.

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2 Responses to “Transition, 2.0: “The Heir” Graduates From College!”

  1. June 7th, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Jen says:

    Thanks for the reminder!!

  2. June 7th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    cynthiaJ says:

    Awesome awesome awesome post 🙂 Absolutely everything you said resonates with me!

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