How I feel about the oldest finishing high school.
I sat there today, watching the class file into their seats, a sea of green robes and hanging tassels.
How funny that I knew her right away, although she looked like everyone else from that distance. We were looking at the shoes actually, I knew I’d find her if I just watched for the sandals she stole out of my closet this morning. After I zoomed in, I made sure-yep, she’s wearing my shoes.
I started crying right away, surprising myself. I was so rushed this morning, and so excited…. I had forgotten that I might get emotional. I certainly didn’t expect it to happen before her name was called.
But the eyes watered, and the tears flowed as I let the truth settle in…. this was IT. In a way, a relief…. one out of 4 officially graduated, I could count myself successful with this one so far.
And little moments kept coming to mind, her birth, her preschool graduation (yellow robe that day), and the years of teen angst that seem to have magically dissipated by this time. How funny that all those hours sitting up in her room, studying (while watching equal hours of Netflix) is over. Her time here is growing shorter, and her room will be empty soon-waiting for her to visit.
And so they start calling the names. We are asked to all be quiet until the last name is called. At first this happens, but soon families and friends let out yells, whistles, claps for some graduates. I’m sitting next to my sister, and we debate for about 30 minutes about if we will yell out or not. I’ve NEVER done it. Even at the T-ball, and later softball games. I always wanted to be the parent yelling encouragement, but never could bring myself to do it. This is my last chance!!
So we agree. I’ll yell her name, and my sister will make some appropriate noise of encouragement. We’ll both clap. We shake on it, no one can back out. And……there she was!!! We watched her as she followed the line of students, awaiting their turn to walk across the stage. And I heard her name called, and I yelled out to her, clapping and smiling like an idiot. But I wasn’t embarrassed in that moment, instead just bursting with pride.
I pushed her during school, always harping on her grades, talking about her future. She was in advanced placement classes, at times completely frazzled with the amount of studying and homework required while continuing to play varsity softball and keep up with her responsibilities at home . She would often be up late to study after a game. I knew her GPA… but it wasn’t until I saw the program, and saw how she had achieved every possible honor and was listed Summa Cum Laude, that it struck me. She DID that…. she didn’t give up, she struggled, she sacrificed, and she made it.
So, how do I feel??
Of course the expected happy, proud, excited, nostalgic…..
And a little awed.
All this time, I’ve been a little worried. Thinking she’s still a KID….worried she may not be ready to go off to college and be in the “real world”….
I may not have given her enough credit. She’s got her act together. She’s going to kick ass in college….and in life.