Yesterday morning, I read this post. It is the message I had for you on the day of your high school graduation.
I knew then that if you focused your determination on a goal, that you would succeed, even if there were missteps and setbacks along the way. Most of all, I just wanted you to know where home was. I wanted you to know that no matter what happened, I would be there cheering, crying, encouraging and helping to pick up the pieces when necessary.
What I didn’t say then was how terrified I was. I was afraid I would lose you. I was afraid that it might be too hard and that you would give up. I was afraid that I hadn’t prepared you well enough for life away from home, that I couldn’t control the outcome and that there just wasn’t enough time. Like so many other times, I didn’t trust my own advice and I didn’t believe that I had been enough.
5 years later, I have learned that you are stronger than I ever imagined. I have learned that when you set your mind on a goal, you will get there, not by the shortest or easiest route…but you WILL arrive. I have learned that you have the ability to brush yourself off after a failure, learn from it and find a new way forward. I have learned that it was even harder to let go than I feared, but the letting go was the only way you could grow. I have learned that I could find my new normal, and that our relationship would be different but perfectly so.
Yesterday, the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance had new meaning. And yes, I cried. Throughout the day, I thought about the last 5 years and what you have overcome, the friendships you have found and lost, the hard work, the tears, the triumphs. I thought about the fact that sometimes it wasn’t your first or second choice that ended up being the right choice, and that sometimes, you had to fail so that the right door could open. I thought about your perseverance and how time and pressure have refined it into your most valuable asset. I thought about how you used that asset to succeed.
Most of all, I thought about how proud I am. I am proud of how far you have come, proud of all that you achieved and proud of all you will be. You did it baby girl.
She has done an amazing thing. The grit and determination you are observing is no-doubt there, and her shining moment of success is absolutely worth observance. (Way to go, girlie! Way. To. Go.) But I just feel the need to point out that all the 100% praise-worthy attributes you’re celebrating in her — the ability to dust yourself off when you’ve fallen… again… and move forward anyway; the agility to redefine yourself and your relationships in a constructive and healthy way; the faith-of-self to know that, even if it means crawling around in the dark for a while, finding the corners with your fingertips (or, more likely, by smacking your head into them), you WILL find your way… These – and many, many more – are traits she learned from her momma, who does them all with such inadvertent grace. YOU gave her the tools. But, man. She did make a work of art out of them, didn’t she?!
Well damn. I thought I was done crying. 🙂