What can you do in 7,670 days? To answer that, you might have to think of what you were doing 7,670 days ago. Let me tell you what I was doing. It was the summer between my Junior and Senior year of high school. I was finishing my sweet 16 year and quickly approaching my 17th birthday at the end of summer. On June 16, 1990, I finished working my shift at K-Mart and came home to get some supper. It was probably close to 9:30pm and my sisters were downstairs watching the Little Mermaid. My mom was house-sitting for a friend and my dad had taken her there for the night. All was calm.
As I heated my supper in the microwave, I heard a soft ka-clunk, ka-clunk, kak-clunk. Whatever the source of the noise was, it was coming from the stairs. And approaching. My very pregnant older sister peeked around the corner from the stairs. It was odd because her head was low to the ground. She was crawling up the stairs.
Despite the ample time she had to go into labor when my parents were around, she chose the moment when they were across town. This was the time before cell phones which meant I couldn’t call my parents en route and have them turn around. I’d have to wait until they got to the house my mom was staying at and then call. I am a calm, collected person under pressure if calm and collected means the exact opposite. I panicked!
The details are a bit blurry from that point but I do remember a lot of pacing. My sister later said that I had complained to her, “I knew you were going to do this to me!” That sounds like me, my sister is in intense pain but yet it comes back to how it affects me. My mom finally answered the phone and I rationally filled her in with what was going on. By rationally, I mean talking quickly with a raised voice and begged her to get back home faster than humanly possible. Dad had already started on his way back home so mom, the birth coach, was stuck until someone could go get her. She left implicit directions that nobody should go to the hospital without her.
When Dad made it home he quickly assessed the situation and made a judgment call, they were going to the hospital immediately. It turned out to be a good thing as my niece did not wait for her birth coach to arrive and was born shortly after my sister was admitted. By 10:30 that night, I was a first time aunt.
So, what can be done in 7,670 days? Let me tell you some things she has done.
On day 1, I looked into the big, doe eyes of my niece.
On day 2, she came home and became acquainted with her crazy family.
Around day 180, she discovered books and developed a love for a good story.
Around day 730, she and I enjoyed popsicles while sitting on the wall outside and chatting. This became a routine that lasted the whole summer.
Around day 912, I introduced her to country music.
Around day 1,095, when asked by her primary teacher what was her favorite song (implying church song) she responded, “Blame it on your lyin, cheatin, cold dead beatin, two-time double dealin, mean, mistreatin, lovin heart” (Kostas & Howard, 1993).
Close to day 1,460, I taught her how to spell her nickname.
Around day 1,900, she started kindergarten.
Just short of day 3,285, her and her mom moved to Salt Lake.
Around day 3,830 she met her bff. It was this same bff who, around day 7,270, she served as Maid of Honor for.
On day 4,380 she entered the Young Women program at church.
Around day 5,655, she went on her first date.
On day 5,840, she received her driver’s license.
Around day 6,175, she learned boys can be kinda stupid sometimes and on day 6,200 she learned a broken heart will eventually heal.
Around day 6,550, she graduated from high school and close to day 6,640, she started college.
It was almost day 7,025 when she learned you don’t mess with a semi-truck. This was the best-worst day ever. On day 7,026 our family offered many prayers of gratitude.
Today is day 7,670; she’s turning 21 with big hopes and dreams. On day 7,705, she’s determined to burst out of her bubble and see the world. This is the day she leaves for Australia. And on day 7,732, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief when she returns safe and sound.
She has the audacity of youth and proudly lives her mantra, “Laugh loud, live louder.” The world is big and beautiful just daring her to conquer it. When she has 13,879 days behind her, I wouldn’t be surprised if she has accomplished this feat. But for now, my advice to her is simply to enjoy day 7,670.
Click the link to see day 945: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ6FNcdpVAA&feature=player_profilepage