Today marks the last official day of high school for my daughter. I went to pick her up for the last time. Commencement --already??-- is this weekend.
What an adventure it has been! From that first, heart-wrenching day of school when she was so tiny and nervous, but so excited, all the way to this last day. I cried that first day, thirteen years ago when I had to put her on a bus and go home alone. Today we both cried when we came home.
My daughter is beautiful, brilliant and talented. Already she is an accomplished author, artist and musician. She will do very well in this world. We raised her to manage on her own - isn't that what we're meant to do? I am sure she will. I hope she will glorify God with her talent and I think Him for her and all He's given her. Such moments - the leaving behind of childish things to move on are very dear to me, very bittersweet. I will miss the morning rides to school, the deep talks that happen in less than five minutes. The laughter, the tears, the rush, the hush after... It helps tremendously that I know she will miss them, too.
Strange as it may sound, I loved the ride to pick her up and the wait - the anticipation of seeing her emerge. Asking myself which door she'd come out. Asking how her day went. I liked to linger, not to squander the time we were given. I've never been in a rush to arrive at this day. The years of childhood are so vital, so rich, so precious. I always wanted my children to savor life, not to push through to responsibility too soon.
It is inevitable. They grow, we cannot stop it, even though when they were young, we told them all "never grow up!" We still wanted them to do that, to be wise and strong. My daughter is, like her brothers before her.
Sure, I know there will be other rides, to college on rainy days, rides toward a bright future. Still, I'll miss those moments, the routine, the familiarity these years have brought. All the changes; the joys and pains of growing up; summer vacations, papers to sign, phone calls to make, notes to send, school trips, lunches to laugh about, awards, games, concerts, projects due and grades brought home, triumphant.
It's the last day of high school, THE last day! Heartbreaking and emotional, yes, and good, too. It's not the last day of all that is to come. That is a long, long way off yet, God willing and there is so much wonder to look forward to.
I love her very much and I want to be there when she needs me for whatever is to come. I am glad I was there today.
Just thought I'd share.