I Guess I Must Have Blinked

Thoughts following a high school graduation;
Lauren and Her Best Friend

I Guess I Must Have Blinked
Thoughts following a high school graduation

“Try not to blink,” a friend told me.
“Don’t ever close your eyes.
Your girl will grow up if you do.”
His words seemed awfully wise.

But on the day our baby came,
I blinked away the tears.
I stroked her fingers, kissed her nose
and marveled at her ears.

Her features were so miniature,
so perfect, soft and pink.
I blinked again. My cheeks felt wet.
My eyes had sprung a leak.

Again I blinked, and magically
the years sped by and then.
She was a preschool graduate.
Good Lord! I blinked again.

In no time she was sweet sixteen,
the Barbies put away.
I closed my eyes in disbelief.
When did my hair turn gray?

Last night I watched my little girl
process in cap and gown
to clutch that prized certificate.
My baby’s college-bound.

 Amazed and proud, I closed my eyes
to drink in what I’d seen.
My baby, now a young adult,
a beauty, tall and lean.

This master of the silver flute
has really learned the score.
Life’s symphony awaits her now
as soon she’s out the door.

When did she leave her jungle gym,
the soccer field and rink?
It seems like only yesterday.
I guess I must have blinked.

Lauren and Her Best Friend
A tribute to the graduate and her gift of music

You held that shiny silver wand
when you were ten years old.
You cradled it and coaxed a tune.
First timidly, then bold.

And with that magic wand, my child,
you dazzled and amazed.
A gentle kiss. A puff of breath.
And silence turned to praise.

That two-foot pipe became your friend
so many years ago.
And though you gave your heart to it,
I had no way to know

the way your friendship would evolve.
The time you two would spend.
Your play dates caused my heart to dance.
I prayed they’d never end.

With sheer delight before my ears
you two became as one.
The sounds of Heaven filled our home
and I to them succumbed.

I realized you two were more
than afterschool playmates.
Together you will make a life.
It’s obvious. It’s fate.

It is a gift you two enjoy.
A gift that must be shared.
For God sings through the two of you.
That’s why you have been paired.

And soon you’ll head for school out east
along with your best friend.
The music in our home each night
will cease. But I’ll pretend

to see you in the other room
beside your music stand.
I’ll picture you with your best friend
held gently in your hands.

* Lauren Star Asimakoupoulos, the youngest of my three daughters, graduated from Mercer Island High School in suburban Seattle last night. That is the same school President Obama’s mother graduated from in 1960. Lauren is a gifted musician headed to Wheaton College Conservatory of Music to pursue a degree in flute performance. My wife and I couldn’t be more proud. If you’d like to hear a clip of Lauren in concert, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TljZ9YdUQ2k