This weekend I watched my youngest daughter graduate from high school. It was a somewhat surreal experience, not because she moved out a month ago, but because she has been vocally complaining about senioristis since she was in kindergarten. After 13 years of being miserable, she finally graduated, and with an exceptional gradepoint average.
It was amazing to watch this kid who locks her keys in her car, loses her checkcard “outside” the atm, and somehow manages to drop her cell phone in fountains graduate. And yet, I believe in her. She’s not a child content on riding on anyone else’s money, on anyone else’s charity and certainly not on anyone else’s pity. She’s a child that through her life has been emotionally refined to know that her success is about her and no one else.
As her mom, I am afraid. I’m afraid that I’ve not provided the suburban life setup that should be expected and that I have miserably demonstrated a variety of “what not to do examples”. But truly today, it’s not about me. Today it’s about my daughter. About what she has learned, about what she believes, and about how hard she can fight. Today it’s about a child that is strong willed, a child who speaks her mind, and a child that I’m terrified is more like me than anyone else in the world.
Today, I congratulate the class of 2016, and my daughter. I’m so proud she made it through high school. I’m proud that despite the gym teacher pulling her out of my car in elementary school, the middle school principal and I being on a texting basis, and her beginning the first day of high school by saying “I’m going to try and not get suspended today.” (as she slammed the car door shut in indignation and walked into the building), that we are here. Today we start a new beginning.
Today, I wish her the best. Be strong. Believe in who you are. Know that God loves you more than you can imagine. Believe that love is the only answer to chaos, and that forgiveness means everything. Every mess can be cleaned up. Now…go do it.