My biological clock may have ceased to run, but my internal maternal clock is still ticking.
The alarm is set for Sunday, May 23, 2010, at 2 p.m. That is when my oldest daughter is scheduled to graduate from high school.
Although it sounds cliche, I can’t help but ask myself, “Where has the time gone?”
If I had kept a journal, I could read through the entries and be reminded of all that has happened over the years and realize that time has not flown by as quickly as it seems. If I had that scrapbook finished (ahem, started!), I could look at the photos and sigh and smile, while reminiscing about the good times and the many life-enhancing adventures we have shared.
However, even if I had a journal, blog or scrapbook, I do not have time to sit back and reminisce quite yet because I have very little time to finish teaching my daughter everything she needs to know before she graduates.
As of today at 2 p.m., I have exactly 106 days, or T minus 2,544 hours, until the alarm rings on G-Day.
After subtracting eight hours of sleep for each weeknight and 10 hours on weekends, only 1,644 waking hours remain for me to instill the knowledge and wisdom necessary for my firstborn to survive after graduation.
Obviously, it would be impossible for me to spend my every waking hour giving advice (though my husband might disagree). And I can’t give my daughter advice if she is not present to listen attentively. Therefore, the following reductions are necessary to accurately calculate the quality time left before G-Day.
I figure she will spend:
- 600 hours (40/week) attending class and school-related activities.
- 106 hours (1/ day) for personal grooming and hygiene. This is a conservative estimate that includes extremely long showers, straightening of beautiful naturally curly hair, application of too much makeup, polishing of nails and accessorizing.
- 180 hours(12/week) at part- time job.
- 150 hours (10/week) of study time. This should be more, but my daughter has a serious case of senioritis.
-180 hours(12/week) for socializing with friends in person.
- 400 hours for “chill” time, which by definition excludes parent participation. According to a study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation on Jan. 20, 8-18-year-olds devote an average of 53 hours a week to entertainment media. The study focused on recreational use of TV, video games, music and cell phones as opposed to use for homework and school-related activities. I have decreased this estimate by the hours my daughter spends working and socializing and rounded down because this number seemed incredibly high.
- 25 hours exchanging rare pleasantries with parents just before asking for gas money or other favors; making excuses for failing to complete chores; explaining why her curfew is no longer applicable now that she is 18 and how she can hardly wait to be on her own, followed by additional requests for cash.
Final Calculation: 1,644 waking hours less adjustments listed above = 3 hours remaining.
When thinking about starting that scrapbook, I ran across the following list of rules written by my daughter when she was 9. (I did not correct the spelling.)
1. Do not Run!! (in the house that is)
2. Do not steel!!
3. Do not boter Dad when he’s on the phone!!
4. Clean up messes!!
5. Do Not Lie!!!
6. Ask to use computers.
7. Do Not leeve toys around the house.
8. Do one to others as you want done to you.
9. If you are on the computer when dad’s on the phone turn the volume down.
10. Do not jump on furnericure.
11. Do not teese!!
12. Do not bounce balls in the house.
If you don’t follow these rules, you will be in Detetion!!!!
I can’t recall why she wrote down these rules and don’t recall making any references to detention. But after reading the rules again, I can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, we have given her a strong foundation on which to begin building her life.
I plan to frame these rules as a graduation present.
And with the three hours I have left? I think I will spend them listening to my daughter instead of giving her advice.
Mara Rasure is married with two teenage daughters. She is a retired attorney.