I'm suspecting that I might have had one of these "last of" things yesterday. I, like many other parents, have found myself doing "daddy duty" in helping my kids with their school presentations. Of course, I spent a lot of time, back when I was in PR, comping up with dog-and-pony shows, so I'm something of "a professional" at this, and was always happy to jump in with drafting rulers, x-acto knives, and graphics programs flying. However, at one point in her high school career, Daughter #1 decided that she could do her boards on her own, and I was no longer tapped for assistance. While this certainly took a minor burden off my shoulders, it saddened me, as it felt like I was being left behind.
Last night Daughter #2 needed to get a board done for her Social Studies Fair (or something like that), and she was, predictably, the only one on her 3-4 person "team" that was on the ball enough to get this organized (if by sending me out to Blick to get a board and construction paper earlier in the week), and even more predictably the "go time" on this was a scant 12 hours before she needed to be heading off to school (this morning) with said (completed) board.
Now, the picture here is NOT of last night's board (which I neglected to shoot a pic of, sadly), but a much larger and more complicated one we did for her theater program last year (nearly 5' tall, with working marquee lights and a diorama of a comedy club stage!), but it's in the general ballpark of what we were working on for six hours straight (from about 9:30pm to 3:30am).
I was sort of surprised to find myself in that role again (especially to the extent I was involved ... while #2 had written, laid out, and printed all the basic text elements and pulled together a file of the graphics, I did everything else, from trimming & gluing to re-designing the graphics so they had a consistent look and size), and my memories of not getting to do that with #1 were hanging around my head. So, this morning I'm wondering if "that's it" and I may never work on another school project.
Needless to say, this all folds in to the "getting old" stuff ... especially since The Wife and I were "old parents" (not having The Girls until we were well into our 40's) ... and the clock's quite advanced vs. what it would have been had we reproduced at a more average age. Heck, I'm hoping to survive to see my kids get married, but I'm not expecting to be much more than a "footnote grandparent" (I only met one of my grandparents once, and I was about 7 at the time), occasionally mentioned in a story, but not much of a factor in anybody's existence.
Of course, given Daughter #2's proclivities, I might still be working on her stuff when she's in college (why try to do all that fine-measuring design and cutting when your Dad's a walking/talking OCD machine?), but when I got up this morning I was both tired and wistful, wondering if something else had just taken that final shift into the past.