Monday, May 19, 2008

There She Goes......And Here She Comes...

Saturday I watched as the light of my life walked across the gymnasium floor, stepping over the threshold from being "my little girl" to a young woman beginning a magnificent and wonderful journey. I watched as she took the podium as Salutatorian, speaking to her classmates with the class and grace that she always shows.
All the years of watching her grow, holding her close, guiding her, supporting her, listening and learning, culminated on a sunny afternoon in a small school gym as she smiled for the camera, received her diploma and left the building as a high school graduate. It hasn't really hit me yet, though my eyes filled with tears more than once during the ceremony.

After greetings and hugs from teachers, family and friends, we returned home for a reception in her honor. Gifts overflowed on the living room floor and the house was filled to the brim with many who love her and wish her well. We shared laughs and memories and slices of white cake as we sat around our beautiful girl and celebrated her special day. It was a lot to take in and I know we will be feeling the after effects for several days in the near future.

The next day after church, we were driving to a local restaurant for dinner.

"I feel so spoiled," my daughter said. "I have the perfect life. The perfect family, the perfect house, perfect friends and boyfriend. Everything is so good...too good to be true."

I told her that she is hardly spoiled. She probably cares less about material things than anyone else I know. It felt good to know that she sees her life as so wonderful, when of course, it isn't really 'perfect'. I told her that she is a large part of why things are so good; that a good life is hardly an accident. She has made good choices in how she lives her life and how she has handled her circumstances and relationships. Living a life that feels like a perfect fit for us and having love from wonderful people is not a spoiled life, but a blessed one. Kindness and goodness draws kindness and goodness, and though bad times come to us all, how we choose to deal with those difficulties charts our course through the rough waters back onto the calmness of the shore.

My beautiful daughter....though my heart aches at the thought of you leaving us in the fall, I know that many wonderful things await you. With your loving and lovely heart, and your gentle - yet fun - spirit, you will soar with grace through the amazing adventure ahead. And though you are one of 17 in the class of 2008, as far as I'm concerned, you are in a class all of your own.


McSwain said...

Wow! You do live in a small town! I can't get over the size of her graduating class. :)

Lori, you must be so very proud. Your daughter sounds like an incredible young woman, a tribute to her mother no doubt. It's really inspiring to read here, to know that children from divorced families DO grow to be outstanding individuals. You and your kids are inspiring.

Bittersweet, I know. I can almost see the shine in your eyes from those mixed-emotion tears from here.

John said...

I have to echo what Cheryl said. The fact that your daughter feels as if her life is 'too good to be true' is a testament not only to her spirit, but also to the way you raised her to glean the good from every situation.

Sometimes words like 'pride' and 'joy' seem much too limited in their ability to describe what a child does to your soul.

Daryl said...

Mazel Tov! She wouldnt be who she is if you werent who you are .. never forget that...


alan said...

My belated congratulations to your daughter and the fantastic Mom who raised her!


Mike said...

northern congrats to you and your daughter. you have a daughter that any parent would be proud to have. Thats says a lot.


Yeah...I am getting irritated with some of todays youth.
( loved your comment about her not being materialistic...that is very refreshing.)

srp said...

Congratulations to your graduate as well! Nyssa's first school had about 25 in the graduating class. Since she went to the state math and science school her last two years, she actually graduated with 150. At William and Mary on Mother's Day, the auditorium was filled with over 1000 graduates. Life certainly marches on at a pace that is much too fast for my liking... at least most of the time.

The next four years will be exciting and anxious and will fly by even faster than the four years of high school. Tell your daughter to enjoy every second... these four years will be the most memorable of her life!