Just spent the day with the world's most amazing 13-year old. We got ice cream, rode a virtual roller coaster, bought pencils, and ate McDonalds. It was a thoroughly satisfying afternoon.
I first met this young spitfire at after church lunch two years ago. "Hi," she said. "Want to hear my life plan?" and she proceeded to lay out her goals and dreams for the next 40 years of her life. Today at our church lunch, she mentioned that she'd added a new dimension to her life picture. "I've even planned when I'm going to die." she said. "84" "What, 2084?" someone asked. "No, WHEN I'm 84." she corrected him. Obviously.
I took her out on a downtown date this afternoon in celebration of her first day of high school, which happens next Monday. We hopped on a bus after church, chatting about school and her love of horses, and life in general. "I'm nervous," she said. "Because the first step in my plan starts this year. High school leads to college, and I'll have to get into a good college if I want my plan to work. If I mess up in high school, I won't get into a good college and then my everything might fall apart."
"Take it easy," I want to tell her. "You're not going to college today."
She walks with her head forward and her shoulders hunched, intent on getting where she's going... right now. She so reminds me of me at that age, only more aware, more courageous, and more willing to find answers.
As wise people have told me, I keep telling her: "All we have is these 24 hours. That's all God gives us." Plan for the future, but live in the present, knowing that things can change in an instant.
Every time I tell her, I tell myself.