How can it be? How is it possible that my little girl is nearly done with college, and setting sail on a cruise through the Caribbean for her final spring break…ever? How can she be nearly twenty-two…wasn’t I just twenty-two a few minutes ago? I remember my big spring break trip – for $168, we rode 24 hours on a Mexican train out of Mexicali to Mazatlan, where we spent a week doing, well, what college kids do on spring break. Then of course, we had to take a Mexican train back. Luxurious it wasn’t – but so much fun! Needless to say my daughter’s spring break will probably be a lot nicer, cleaner, and smell a whole lot better than that Mexican train did – and she’ll certainly have a fantastic trip. She’s at that magical time of life when everything is possible, the golden moments before real life begins, which brings so many new responsibilities, pressures and, yes, wonderful things, too.
It’s appropriate that she should be sailing on a cruise for this, her last school vacation. In front of her she’ll see nothing but water and sky, hopefully clear and smooth. The ride may get rocky sometimes, and she may even get a little sick to her stomach, but she’ll enjoy it anyway – much like I hope she feels about her life after she graduates from college in less than 3 months. She is anxious to find a job, ready to hit the ground running the moment she takes off the cap and gown – fully prepared to take on the world. I am optimistic that she will be able to find something that she’ll enjoy doing, despite the difficult job market – she’s well prepared, having interned and worked all through college in positions that look good on her resume. She’s never been one to sit still and wait for things to happen – she’s always been a go-getter, ambitious and confident – so if there’s a job to be had, she will find it. In the meantime, she will be coming home to live for a while, along with her brother, who will be back indefinitely…so much for my empty nest! But I am ready for them, I think – and she won’t be here long, I’m fairly certain. Once she finds a job she’ll be ready for an apartment, and a new car, and some grown-up clothes, and before I know it, she’ll be sailing away again, into her adult life. But I won’t be sad at all – watching her continue on is thrilling for me, and I know she is going to be fine, whatever waves and storms may come her way.
Pretty soon, we won’t have a school calendar to mark the days of the year anymore. When my son is finished with college in a few years, life will no longer have a first day of school, winter break, spring break – it will just be the four seasons or the 12 months that will mark time. There will be no summers with month long visits from my kids – their lives will be lived in other homes, with other people – roommates, boyfriends, girlfriends – who knows?
At almost twenty-two, anything is possible – it was for me, and now it is for my daughter. I hope this is her best spring break ever.