Reflecting on the past, looking forward to the future

Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Ramblings from the Heart

From the moment a descendant is brought into this world, whether it be an animal, insect or human being, its’ parents face a losing battle of keeping their offspring by their side, relating to them on a one-on-one basis. Human parents have a task at hand that will, arguably, be the most important duty they will ever know. Teaching their child right from wrong and how to be a responsible, law-abiding, caring, compassionate adult can be a daunting task. There’ll be times when they are certain they’ve scarred their child for life and other times when they realize that maybe their efforts resulted in a child that actually did turn out to be that responsible, law-abiding, caring, compassionate person they were trying to raise. When this does happens, naturally, the parents have reason to be pleased with their efforts. I realize that I’m in that frame of mind now days.

In the beginning, my daughter was always been in a hurry to get to the next stage in her life. My first realized notion of this was when my wife and I enrolled our daughter in pre-school. We were sure Layton would be traumatized when we left her at a table with a few building blocks and even more fellow students. We assured Layton that she would be all right; thinking she’d be beyond terrorized, crying like a banshee and clinging to one of our legs as we made our hasty exit. We hovered over Layton for a while waiting for the outburst, when suddenly, Layton looked up at us and said, “You can go now.” Our hearts were shattered but Layton was perfectly content playing with her blocks and interacting with the other students at her table.

Then there was the time when she was ten years old and proceeded to tell me that she was “officially” a preteen based on a magazine she read. The article actually said 11 or 12 years of age but it made no difference to her! I was indignant to her claim but I began to realize she was on her way towards becoming an adolescent and leaving her childhood behind.

Junior High School arrived and Layton’s interests turned from playing with blocks to boys! Although these youngsters weren’t more than 12 or 13, I was certain her newfound interests would surely lead her down a dead-end road to ruin.

Then it went from bad to worse … Layton entered high school and yet more of the same thoughts for me that only produced a heightened sense of awareness. Every snot-nosed, pimpled-faced evil-doing despicable little runt my daughter brought home was a source of concern for me.

College was more of the same but I didn’t have any say in what Layton did with me being over 300 miles away. I had to hope that my wife and I raised our daughter to be a proper lady and not get too wild. I’m pretty sure there were plenty of opportunities to go off course and she probably did. Hopefully she learned from her mistakes. Thankfully Layton survived college relatively unscathed.

Upon graduating from college, Layton moved to Nebraska to start her new life. New adventures and opportunities were encountered and Layton settled into her new life and it seemed that maybe the hurried pace of her youth, adolescence and teenage years had slowed down now that she was an adult. Then I started seeing Layton’s posts on Facebook with pictures of some guy she met online. Last summer, Amber and I met Aaron and his family. I felt really good about all of this but when Amber said she thought Layton was pretty serious about this guy, I was surprised. When I found out that Layton had asked her mother how long she and I knew each other before we tied the knot the concern in me resurfaced. You see, Amber and I had a pretty quick courtship that lead up to our marriage. My daughter was back in a hurry again but this was very significant at the tender age of 23.

When I see Layton and Aaron interacting with each other, I realize that Layton has made a very wise decision in her life. This weekend will be the wedding of Layton and Aaron Maas. Thinking back on my life with Layton and the worries and concerns experienced has lead me to the belief that Layton is actually a fairly level-headed person who is capable of making decisions on her own with this weekend being the most important decision of her life to date. She can’t wait to be Mrs. Aaron Maas and I can’t wait for that to happen for her!

Ya know, it’s kinda ironic when I think of it. In the past, I wanted Layton to slow down and cherish the journey she’s on but now, I can’t wait until she becomes Mrs. Aaron Maas either because then my next stage of life is to be a grandpa! It seems I’ve adopted Layton’s idea of being in a hurry to get to the next stage of my life … and this time, I truly believe it’s actually a good thing!

Allen Hrubes an occassional Glendive columnist for the Ranger-Review can be reached at