All of a sudden, I was feeling old. Very old.
I've talked about this experience being like an E Ticket ride. If you don't know what means, Google it. As I listened to an outline of the next 18 months, my mind kept visualizing two E Tickets left; then the book is empty. There are no more to be purchased. Our pass to Tomorrowland and Space Mountain will expire.
I know I'm sounding morose. That's not really the case. Nothing stays the same. Each ride has had its ups and downs; its twists and turns; most definitely its highs and lows. But each year our skater continued, we took a ticket and willingly got on board. Like Space Mountain, we never knew exactly what to expect. Every curve kept us in the dark - laughing, crying and screaming the whole way, with hearts fluttering in anticipation - sometimes fluttering just a bit too much. Each ride, we learned a little more. Each ride, we realized how much more there was to learn.
I wrote a note to a friend today about the last 23 years, and the 18 months to come. "It’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel and know the ride is nearly over, but it is exciting to know when we went into it, we had a young boy full of excitement; we will come out of it sitting beside a man full of appreciation and determination as he heads into the next phase of his life."
It's nearly time to start thinking about spinning teacups and singing "It's a Small World Afterall.." But in the meantime, we have two tickets left, so we'll close our eyes - laugh and scream - and be grateful for the experience.