While searching for some photos to display at my son's graduation party earlier this summer, I came across one that at first glance did not seem very worthwhile. Upon retrospect, however, it speaks volumes.
It is a photo of Sean as a little boy, probably just over a year old, taken around 1998. He is walking out of a room followed by his constant companion back then, our Labrador retriever, Zak.
Both of them are facing away from the camera. In itself, the photo is unremarkable.
Until you realize that the dog in the picture passed away in 2010 after being part of our family for more than 13 years. And the little boy in the picture started college today.
To me, the picture represents the passage of time. How a small child toddling from a room followed by his dog one day is suddenly headed off to his first college class. And it seemed to happen in the blink of any eye.
We see our children every day, not realizing how much they grow and change. Not understanding how quickly time will go by and how soon they will leave us to discover their place in the world. One day, they will walk out that door and be on their own.
There were days when my children were young and I would imagine how it would be when they are a little older, a little more independent. Now, I would do anything to turn back time so I could savor every moment, not rush through them hoping for the next one.
There will be many more doorways in our future. Now I understand that I need to pause those passages, just for a moment, to savor the smile, the hug, or the pure memory of it.
The saying goes when one door closes, another opens. As they open for my children, I hope I have the chance to linger at them just for a little while. I know now that they will walk through the next one all too quickly.