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 We sat, as always, front and center, four rows from the stage so we could have that all-important perfect view of our son performing. And, of course, so I could get ideal photos of the concert.

  像往常一般,我们坐在前排靠中间的座位上,和舞台隔着四排座位,这样我们就能完美捕捉到儿子表演时所有的重点。当然,我因此也能拍到这场音乐会的理想照片。

  It was late May. My wife and I sat there feeling rather sentimental, thinking the same things but sitting quietly, keeping thoughts to ourselves. This was our youngest’s last high school concert-and to our sad 1)disbelief it was also ours.

  当时正值五月末,我和妻子坐在那儿,感觉很伤感。我们想着同样的东西,却都安静地坐着暗自思忖。这是我们小儿子念高中的最后一场音乐会……我们不禁感伤,真难以置信,这也是我们最后一次参与孩子在学校的汇报表演了。

  Lucky to Be Sad  Where had the time gone? Just yesterday, he’d been sitting next to us, watching first his sister, then his older brother perform in some music or sporting event. Now we were watching our youngest, a senior in high school, nearing graduation.

  时间都溜到哪儿去了?就在昨天,他一直挨着我们坐,先是看他姐姐,而后是看他哥哥参加音乐演出或是运动赛事。现在,我们看着最小的孩子,已经在念高三,临近毕业了。

  Mamaroneck High School has a wonderful ritual each year: to conclude the annual spring concert by honoring the graduating seniors, calling them each to the stage with a few words about their experience and where they are each heading off to next. College! My wife and I sat there quietly; proud, beaming, but misty-eyed.

  马马罗内克高中每年都有这么个极好的仪式惯例:在年度春季音乐会的最后向高三毕业生致敬,让他们逐一上台简单讲讲体会和未来目标。大学!我和妻子静静地坐在那儿,感到自豪、欣喜,却泪眼朦胧。

  We were sad.

  我们感到悲伤。

  As we walked out of the auditorium looking for our son, we saw him standing with his closest friends, arm in arm, posing for the parent photos. He came over to us; we hugged as we always do after a concert, telling him how proud we were, how awesome he was. But we noticed that he was having a bit of a tough time. He had tears in his eyes.

  当我们走出礼堂寻找我们的儿子时,我们看见他和他的密友手挽着手站在一起,正儿八经地在合照。他向我们走来。我们一如往常地在音乐会结束后,习惯性地拥抱了一下,然后告诉他,我们感到多么自豪,他是多么的棒。但我们注意到,他当时感到有点难受,眼里含着泪水。

  We asked if he was OK. He looked at us, holding back tears, and said, "I just can’t believe it’s over. It’s really sad."

  我们问他是否还好。他抑制住泪水看着我们,说道:"我只是无法相信高中生活就这么结束了。真让人难过。"

  I looked at my son, proud he was comfortable showing his emotions amongst his friends who were also clearly choked up. And I remembered the words I said to my wife a few years earlier: "You’re lucky to be sad."

  我看着我的儿子,很自豪于看到他能在显然已哽咽的朋友们面前安然地流露自己的感情。我记得在早几年前,我对妻子说过的那些话:"能感到悲伤是件幸运的事。"

  I looked at Rob and reminded him, "You’ve had a special time; you’ve made so many good close friends. You are lucky to have had the kind of time that you will truly miss." He nodded.

  我看着罗布,提醒他说:"你拥有过一段特别的时光,交了这么多的密友,能经历过这段往后会真心怀念的时光,你是幸运的。"他点点头。

  When it comes to family, my wife and I, like many of our close friends, have looked at things a bit differently from other parents. Over the years, when it was time to send our kids off to camp or college, there would be those who’d say, "Lucky you—you must be so relieved. You have your freedom!" We’d see parents high-fiving each other as the buses drove away, several muttering to themselves, "Finally, they are gone."

  谈及家庭,我和妻子与咱们的许多密友一般,有着跟其他父母不太一样的看法。过去这些年里,每到要送孩子去野营或上大学的时候,总有些人会说:"你真幸运……你肯定一下子轻松了不少。你自由啦!"当公交车载着孩子离开时,我们会看见一些父母相互欢欣击掌,有些还会喃喃自语道:"他们终于走了。"

  We never understood them. We would sit in the car driving home quietly but clearly a bit depressed. We’d wonder if we were strange to not be seeing the separation as some parentally liberating event. We decided we weren’t strange at all, just lucky. To have kids we preferred being with, children we would miss.

  我一直都没有弄懂他们。我们会坐在车里,静静地把车开回家,但明显感觉到有些沮丧。我们也曾怀疑自己是否有些奇怪,因为我们没有将分离视为从父母重责中"解放"出来的时机。 后来我们觉得自己其实一点也不奇怪,反而是很幸运。我们拥有的这群子女,是我们喜欢相伴身旁,会想念记挂的子女。

  It was three years ago, nearly to the day. Our middle child was walking through the processional as Mamaroneck High School celebrated its graduating seniors. It was a perfect day and there we were, my wife and I, applauding, cheering and then, as always, photographing Will and all his friends as they left the high school field.

  三年前,差不多是这个时候,马马罗内克高中为其高三毕业生举行庆祝仪式,我们的第二个孩子在列队行进音乐中迈进。那是完美的一天,我和妻子都在现场鼓掌、欢呼,并且接下来如往常一般,为将要结束高中生活的维尔和他的朋友们拍照。

  Our son was off to a graduation party and would meet us later. My wife and I sat in the car at the stop light, waiting to pull out of the high school parking lot. I remember the moment vividly. With a lump in my throat, I looked over to my wife, and she was sitting there with tears in her eyes. "I’ll be OK," she said. "I’m going to miss him so much. It’s just so sad."

  我们的儿子去参加毕业派对了,迟些再和我们汇合。我和妻子坐在车里,等着绿灯亮就把车开出高中校园的停车场。我还清晰地记得那一刻。我的喉咙哽住了,我看了看妻子,她正坐在那儿,满眼是泪。"我会没事的,"她说,"我会很想念他的。只是感到很难过。"

  That’s when I first had the thought—we are lucky to be sad.

  那次是我第一次有了这种想法——能感到悲伤对于我们来说是件幸运的事。

  OK. So my wife and I are a bit on the sappy side. But the truth is we have cherished our home-life, watching our kids grow up, being a part of their lives. I suppose that if it hadn’t been so sweet, if we hadn’t had year after year of times we would miss, we’d be driving away from the school high-fiving each other.

  好吧。这样看来,我和妻子是有些多愁善感。但事实是,我们珍惜我们的家庭生活——看着我们的孩子们长大,成为他们生命中的一部分。我想,如果之前相伴度过的日子不是那么甜蜜,如果我们不曾拥有让人怀念的这些年月,我们夫妻俩也许就会欢欣击掌,畅快地开车离开学校。

  Several years before Will’s graduation I drove my daughter to college for the first time. Not just any college. My college. What a mix of emotions that was-reliving the times I’d had, sharing the stories on the long drive to Ithaca, hoping she wouldn’t do the things I’d done, wondering how I’d feel making the long drive home alone.

  威尔毕业前的几年前,我第一次开车载着女儿去上大学。不只是随随便便的某所大学,而是我毕业的大学。那是一种多么复杂的情绪——我重新体验了一番那些曾度过的时光,在前往伊萨卡镇的长途行驶中和女儿分享一个个故事,希望她不会重蹈我的覆辙,同时也好奇自己将怀着一种怎样的感受独自长途开车回家。

  We arrived, managed through the orientations, met the roommate’s family and helped set up the freshman dorm room. Before I knew it, it was time to leave.

  我们到了,参加了新生介绍会,见了室友的家人,还帮着布置了大一新生宿舍。不知不觉就已经到了要离开的时候了。

  Jen walked me to the car. It was just the two of us. I looked her in the eyes, reminded her of all the fun she would have, all the care she needed to take, how much I loved her and how much we would all miss her. I will never forget this moment and how tough it was-for me, that is.

  珍陪我一块走到车那头。只有我们两个人。我直视着她的眼,提醒她所有她将收获的乐趣,所有她需要当心的事,以及我多么爱她,我们所有人都会多么想念她。我将永不会忘记那一刻,对我来说,当时我是如此难 受……

  She walked away through the parking lot, joined her roommate, and proceeded down the lower quad toward the incoming freshman gathering. I stood by the car just watching her cross the field, years of memories rushing through my mind, with disbelief that she was eighteen, with an ache in my stomach that she was really heading off on her own.

  她走了,穿过停车场,跟室友碰头,一起继续往前走,经过地势低一些的方院,走向即将开始的新生集会。我站在车旁,就看着她走过那块地方——我的脑子里涌现出多年来的种种回忆,我不敢相信她已十八岁了。想到她真的要独自前行,我感觉内心隐隐作痛。

  I decided I would watch her walk until I lost her in the crowd and then I would head home. It was just at the moment I was about to turn, when she did. Jennie stopped, turned from far across the quad where she was about to enter the crowd. She put her hand up in the air and waved to me.

  我决定看着她走,直到她走消失在人群当中,然后我才回家。就在我准备转身的那刻,珍停下了脚步,远远地在那个方院里,在她准备走入人群中的那个地方,转过了身。她把手举在空中,向我挥手。

  I will never forget that wave, and you know what, nor will she.

  我永远不会忘记那次的挥手,你知道吗,她也永远不会忘记的。

  To this day, we wave to each other every time we head off in different directions.

  直到今天,每次当我们前往不同的方向,我们总会相互挥手。

  And every time I see that wave, I realize how lucky we’ve all been to have had the times we’ve had and to be the close family we’ve become.

  而每一次当我看见那挥手时,我意识到我们实在太幸运了,能拥有曾度过的这些时光,能成为如此亲密的家人。

  Next week, our young Rob graduates from Mamaroneck High School. We will be sad. But we know how lucky we are to feel the way we do.

  下周,我们的小罗比将从马马罗内克高中毕业。我们会感到悲伤。但我们知道,能拥有如此的感受,我们是多么的幸运。

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