While riding the bus to work today, a mother and her three children sat down a few rows in front of me. The two older kids, probably 4 and 5, both begged to look out the window. The mother effortlessly slid open two windows about 6 inches and both children spent the next 20 minutes in gleeful awe gazing out at the world flashing past them, occasionally smiling at each other with the knowledge that they were getting to do something special.

Life is like that when you’re a child; you gaze out a small window while someone else controls your desitination, steering you down that pre-determined path, and hopefully stopping at all the right stops. You watch things flash by, maybe learning, maybe not. You smile at your friends, knowing that you’re each special in your own little world. And throughout the whole ride you barely notice your parents… calmly keeping your window to the world as clean as possible, sliding it open inch-by-inch when they feel you’re ready to see a little more of the world.

At some point in life, that window fully opens… For some of us it continues its slow progression until all is exposed; for others the window is flung open with force. Suddenly you’re in charge of keeping your own window clean… but who likes to wash windows? Your view of things gets distorted, refracted, perhaps streaked from a feeble cleaning attempt. If you’re lucky, like I am, you have friends and family that are always willing to help clear things up. They drop by at a moment’s notice, paper towels and smiles in tow, and remind you what’s it like to get enjoyment out of life again.

To all my friends and family… to Dad, Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, QT, all of you… Thanks for being around to help keep my window of life clean.