On our son’s high school graduation and Starfleet Academy

The first teaser trailer for the new “Star Trek” TV series that’s supposed to come out next year was released this week. It didn’t reveal much – just the new logo and beauty shots of space – but it did remind me that I haven’t made a “Star Trek” reference lately.

And, since that’s an eye-rolling part of my shtick, you’re just going to have to bear with me as I engage in it.

Our kids are now at the age when the milestones are coming so fast it’s as if their lives have kicked into warp drive.

For example, our daughter is now a confirmed member of our church.

I took last Sunday off from work so I could be there as she stood in front of the congregation with a couple other church kids. They were confirmed on Pentecost, so they all wore red, matching the pastor’s vestments and the flowers behind the alter.

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The kids participated in the service. One was responsible for the processional cross, another read the day’s Bible verses, and our daughter helped serve communion.

I was happily enjoying the moment when our pastor brought me up short. He told the congregation that, at least in the eyes of the church, our daughter is now an adult.

AN ADULT!

The church may consider her grown up, but she hasn’t yet turned 15. I’m allowed to  indulge in a few more years of denial where she is concerned.

Her older brother’s progress, however, is harder to stave off. He turned 18 this spring and voted for the first time last month.

He also had his first car accident. He backed his mother’s car into our driveway basketball pole a couple of weeks ago.

The car wasn’t damaged, but shooting hoops at our house is no longer an option – the pole isn’t there anymore. Apparently (here comes another “Star Trek” reference), the base of it was so eaten up by rust a starship gently traveling at nothing more than impulse speed could have knocked it over.

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It’s probably just as well that it’s been put out of commission. Playing driveway basketball was never much of a priority at our house. For more than ten years, that pole had nothing better to do than preside unnoticed and unappreciated over our comings and goings. It was a vestige of the previous owners. Now, it exists only in memory and in the background of family pictures.

At some family gathering years from now, I can see us going through our old pics and somebody will say, “Man, I forgot all about that basketball pole. What happened to it?” At which point I will merely give our son the sort of disapproving look that says “you still haven’t lived that down.”

But that’s in a future glimpsed only in my mind’s eye. Right now, a more immediate milestone is nearly upon us.

Our son is graduating from high school. Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Monday evening, and it won’t be long before we pack him off to college.

I’d send to him Starfleet Academy (another “Star Trek” reference!) but since it doesn’t exist (yet) a more practical post-secondary education seems more appropriate to our timeline.

College brings with it its own set of hurdles. And while our son is likely to remain true to form and give his mother and me heartburn, he will likely clear them and move on with his life.

Otherwise, I might have to get Enterprise’s captain to start opening the bar in Ten-Forward a little early.

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