Until this year, I hadn't thought a lot about graduation in a long time. But this year marks the year my eldest, my daughter Katie, graduated from high school, and let me tell you, I never expected to be as emotional as I was at her graduation ceremony. So, while this post is about graduation--sort of--it's mostly about my daughter.
She was poised, beautiful, and confident as she made her walk across stage. I remembered the day she was born, and how terrifying the prospect of taking her home was. After all, at home I didn't have nurses who knew what they heck they were doing, and every bit of her care was up to me and my husband.
Scary, but exhilarating too. I remembered her first word (No!), her first steps, the time she managed to lock herself in our bathroom (at the age of 14 months), and I had to call my husband home from work to get her out. It took way too long to get that door open, and the entire time, all I could think of was what was in that room that might hurt her. But when we opened the door (finally) she was as happy as could be, napping in the middle of the rolls and rolls of white toilet paper she'd unraveled and coated the floor with.
And then I thought about her first day of kindergarten, and how she'd refused to get on the bus because her brand new, pretty pink umbrella's handle had broken off. She didn't care it wasn't raining, that it was a sunny, beautiful day outside. She wanted to take that umbrella to school with her, but because the handle snapped off, she couldn't. We ended up driving her, wiped her tears away, and then went home and cried a little ourselves.
Our baby was growing up.
Next in my memory came the sometimes difficult early teen years--the times I wondered if I would be sane by the time she made it to adulthood. And then her first boyfriend, her second, and then finally, we arrived at that moment, the day I sat in a crowd of other proud parents and watched my child complete her high school years.
Graduation is, at once, an end of one portion of a person's life and the beginning of the next portion. It's exciting, but for me--it's also a little sad. As I write this, I know that it won't be that much longer before my baby girl who is now an adult moves completely out of my home to create a home of her own. But as I think back over my life, and all the times I've still needed my mother, I hold onto the hope that she'll never forget the love we raised her with.
I am proud, oh-so-proud, and I am excited for her--for what her life will become, and the amazing choices she has in front of her.
So, to celebrate this high school graduation season, and because of my pride, I want to share a slideshow my daughter had to put together as one of her final exams before graduation. It's been a lot of years since I was a high school student, but this slide show brought those years back in a blink. Oh...I should also point out that we had to change the song as her original song choices are copyright protected.
I love this! Naturally, I'm the mom, so that makes sense, but I hope you all enjoy it too. And if you remember the post I wrote a while back about Katie's prom day, you'll see a shot of her in her fantastic prom dress with her boyfriend toward the end, after the section labeled "My Senior Year."
So, to end: congratulations to all of this year's graduates, whether from high school or college! Grab on to this next portion of your life with excitement, and I hope all of your dreams come true.
Also, on a different note, I'd like to point out an interview/contest that is going on right now. If you'd like to win a signed copy of A TASTE OF MAGIC, and learn a little more about me, head on over to Dreaming on the Job.