I don’t know what happened to chapter one and chapter two. All I know is that I had a taste of reflection on chapter one when I attended my summer camp reunion last month. Camp song lyrics came flooding back to my memory and rolled off my tongue as if it was just last summer that I was swimming, playing volleyball, sailing, skiing, performing in a play, competing in color war, being homesick, and then crying because I didn’t want to go home. I also had the opportunity to reflect back on who I was then, and see who I am now, understanding that life changes you; sometimes for the good, and sometimes it’s not so good. Thankfully, most of it has been great, and that you can’t go back and rewrite once it’s been published.
Chapter two went just as fast. My children are no longer children. They are both young adults making their way in a challenging world. Hopefully, we gave them a strong enough set of morals and values, sense of right and wrong, feeling of confidence, affinity for family and respect for mankind. They both live far enough away from us now that I have to depend on that. I long for the days when I could toss a ball with my son in the front yard, or help my daughter with cutting out flowers from magazines, sitting cross-legged on the floor in her room. And now, every time I see a family with small children, I say to the young parents, “Don’t blink.”
People always told me Chapter Three would be my time… or our time. We haven’t quite figured it out yet. While we have had the blessing of falling in love all over again, we don’t have the energy or the interest to pursue the life we had before children. We’re much older, and it takes some getting used to. We’re still working, and certainly not financially independent, so all of our dreams have to wait a little longer, so I imagine you could say Chapter Three is really just a prologue to Chapter Four. We do laugh a lot.
I am not permitted to discuss what I want to happen in Chapter Four. I made a promise and I intend to keep it. The one thing I have learned is that there are no guarantees. I stay appreciative of every subplot and every page of my story, hoping that once in a while it’s a real page-turner, but that most of the time, its slow and steady, and ultimately, my book will be considered a short story classic.