It's been a whirlwind the past couple of months with all the senior year events for my son, Cole. Time constraints have prevented me from writing. The morning of his graduation found me at a moment in time, reflecting on the passage of time.
I love to iron, and for this special milestone I wanted to iron Cole's clothes so they would be "just right". Yes, that's my anal-retentive "slip" showing. Down came the iron and out came the spray starch to make crisp creases. A sizzle of spit to test for readiness and on I went to get this task completed. Hurry up so you can get yourself ready. But as I slid the iron back and forth and puffs of steam breathed up from the board, I looked back on all the clothes I've pressed for my son and daughter. There were the special occasion frocks for parties. Sunday-best wardrobes for church. Business attire for class presentations and science fairs. Not to mention the daily ironing of clothes for school.
I ironed their clothes starting in preschool, and carried that on until well into mid-school. That was just "my thing". Pressing out wrinkles was a cathartic, relaxing process and an enjoyable part of my morning routine. All the little shorts and skirts. The jeans and fancy dresses worn at two and three years old. The costumes and t-shirts at eleven and twelve. The button-downs and formal wear at sixteen and seventeen. I'd put them on hangers to preserve the fresh press.
"Your clothes are ready!" I'd holler from my bedroom.
How many times had I said that over the years? And here I was now, working my iron over graduation garments. Slow down, Susan.Take in this moment. Mark the seam and check the evenness of sleeve creases. Steam belched out as the iron rose and fell. Fold the pant legs so the pleats are identical. Next the robe. Smooth out the rumples from having been folded up in its package. Press the little capelet that would be worn on top. Hang them on the hanger. It's done.
"Your clothes are ready, Cole!" I hollered from the bedroom.
Where had the time gone? How quickly I had moved from toddler pants with snap crotches to now, a ceremonial robe marking a transition into adulthood. Cole came in, swooped up the garments and got them on. The whiskers on his chin seemed more noticeable as he asked me to check his tie. A young man stood in front of me. A fine young man. My fine young man. Ready to walk.
"LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am. - Psalm 90:12
Ironing my son's graduation clothes that morning, had been more bittersweet than I'd expected.