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home : columns : joel alvstad
July 17, 2019

5/22/2019 10:38:00 AM
A changed concept of time this graduation season

Joel Alvstad
Sports Editor

When I was younger, it seemed like there were times that just dragged on.
The crunch of getting things done for school made the minutes seem like hours. But so did all of the fun times with friends.
As I've gotten older, I've noticed that my concept of time has changed quite a bit. For instance, many people say that college was the best four years of their lives, but the reality is that those four years just fly by and you don't notice until it's over.
But as fast as college seemed to fly by, those years are nothing compared to parenthood.
It literally seems like yesterday when I wrote in this very same space about the excitement of becoming a parent for the first time.
I closed my eyes for a second and my baby started school.
And now, seemingly just a second later, Josie's about to put on her cap and gown, graduate from Windom Area High School and test drive life in the "real world" before she heads to the same place I got to enjoy the best four years of my life.
Growing up, my mother wrote a column for the Grant County Herald. The exploits of her children were a frequent, sometimes embarrassing topic. That's a big reason why I've tended to shy away from writing columns about my children.
But for graduation, I'm within my rights as a dad to break my own rules. As I like to say, that's "just one of the perks."
I've always tried to stress to my children regarding their activities, to either find something they love and do it to the best of their ability, or to find something they do well and learn to love it.
I've always been proud of Josie's willingness to try new things to do. She's tried just about every activity imaginable. She's managed to find a few that she loved.
She's never backed away when faced with obstacles and she has a firm sense of what is fair and just. And no matter what she's doing or who she is with, chances are that you'll see a big smile on her face, as well as on the faces of those around her.
As a sports reporter, there are few things in my life that are more thrilling than getting to watch my own children in activities. When Josie joined the golf team, I was happy that she took the chance to enjoy a life-long sport. And while she'll readily admit to not being all that great at the sport, it's an activity that she enjoys, and she can share that enjoyment with everyone she comes across in a meet.
It's not surprising that Josie gravitated toward the arts. She's always loved music and her first taste of theater had her hooked. Band, choir, speech and theater broadened her horizons and set her on a path that will continue into her future. She spent considerable time encouraging other students to consider broadening their horizons through the arts as well.
Like any parent/child relationship, Josie and I have had our ups and downs. But I couldn't imagine anyone I would have rather had break me into the world of parenthood.
To my oldest daughter Josie, I love you. I'm proud of you. And your mom and I will always be your biggest supporters, no matter what your future holds.
Congratulations to you, and to all of the Class of 2019!
Now, excuse me while I try to figure out where the last 18 years went.

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