Oh, to go back to the days of high school, when there was opportunity and life waiting ahead of you. Actually I don’t miss HS one bit; never have. But I do miss that feeling of knowing my whole life was ahead of me and I had no mistakes behind me. Oh, do I miss those days.

Tonight was my nephew’s graduation from kindergarten. As I sat listening to Pomp & Circumstance and watching the kids line themselves up on the stage, tears popped into my eyes. In a crowded auditorium, where I’d once tried out for cheerleading in front of my freshman class, I was crying.

This is Gabrian’s first diploma, this graduation from kindergarten. He’ll go on to first grade in the fall, find his way through grade school to middle school and then high school. He’ll get many more diplomas in the future, I hope. His is the class of 2023.

2023: the sign over the stage read Class of 2023. I can’t even think that far ahead and trying to scares the bejesus out of me. It’s not just the age I’ll be that year; it’s the wondering where I’ll be in life. Where will I be? Where will Gabrian be?

I may just be the ‘cool aunt’ in his life, but I also worry, as his parents must, what opportunities will arise for him in the future. What will his life be like? Will he make mistakes as we did, or will he be smarter than us? I know it’s in our nature to make mistakes and try and learn from them, but you always hope that the ones behind you will learn from your mistakes and not live with regret. At least I hope that.