Theoretically, on Sunday, our daughter Katie graduated with honors from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.
I say theoretically, because it really couldn't have happened.
I mean, wasn't it only about 5 minutes ago that we were dropping her off at college for the first time?
And wasn't it only about 8 minutes ago that I was writing a column about the game-winning, buzzer-beating jumper she made in her final high school road game?
And wasn't it only about 15 minutes ago that we were wondering how we were going to survive Katie's sometimes difficult prepubescent years?
And wasn't it only about 22 minutes ago that she was telling her second-grade teacher that she planned to be the first female president of the United States?
And wasn't it only about 27 minutes ago that she was tormenting her little brother, Ben, making him dress up in all kinds of crazy outfits while she played teacher or doctor or, yes, president?
And wasn't it only about 33 minutes ago that my wife, Roberta, and I were hugging each other in joy the day Katie was born?
So there is no way that Katie is now a 22-year-old college graduate.
Still, just for argument's sake, let's say it's true. How lucky for the rest of us that we have gotten to know her and gotten to be amazed by her intelligence, kindness and sense of humor.
And how lucky for the rest of us that we will continue to experience all of those wonderful things that make Katie special.
But that's just a make-believe scenario because it was only a few minutes ago that she was trying to decide which college to attend ... and that she got her driver's license ... and that she first kissed a boy ... and that we first talked about dealing with peer pressure ... and that she made her first basket ... and that she attended preschool ... and that she fainted because she got angry and held her breath too long ...
... And that I told her I loved her as I held her in my arms for the very first time.
Well, be it 22 minutes or 22 years, my love for Katie only has grown. And over the next 22 minutes and 22 years and 22 whatevers, it only will grow more.
That's no theory. That's a fact.