To My Daughter on Her Graduation
And with that, you did it. You graduated.
I keep saying how proud I am of you. But that word does not describe how I feel. From the moment you were born, you were my baby and I knew you would exceed in everything you did.
You are creative and artistic. Your drawings and paintings decorate the house. Your pottery is everywhere. We've framed your photographs. You can play the piano and taught yourself ukulele. You sing when you think no one is listening. Your creative writing is better than Dad's, and he's published two books.
You are smart. We sent you to boarding school because it challenged you. It meant we didn't see you often. We didn't get to hear daily stories of school or weekend fun. We couldn't see how you dressed (ok, it was a uniform) and how you did your hair. We couldn't help you when you were sick or celebrate when you had a great day. We gave up seeing you so you could fly. And you did.
Your teachers ask you to help teach, because the students understand things better when you explain them. Your English teacher is saving an essay to use for class next year. Math and Science might not come easy, but you persevere, and you won the senior class book award for AP Calculus and Environmental Science. You've had three years of Latin and had the top score in your Harry Potter Magic & Morality class. Your GPA is higher than a 4.0 and your standardized test scores are off the chart. But I know you had a good time through it all. There were late nights and early mornings. Trips for midnight snacks and sleeping on the floor. I hope you have fantastic memories of school and fun times with friends.
You chose carefully where you applied to college and made a tough decision. You'll be one credit shy of a sophomore thanks to AP credits, which means you'll probably double major. I know you'll have a fantastic time. You already know how to deal with a dorm full of girls and getting to class on time. You are a whiz at cards and board games. And now you can wear hoodies and gym shorts! You can schedule classes for late morning and sleep in! I'm so excited for your college career to start, but I also want this summer to last. We'll be spending a week in Italy to celebrate, and I know you'll want to photograph and sketch and learn all you can while we are there.
You love unconditionally. Dogs are your best friends. You miss your pets when you aren't home. Even your Senior Survival Trip on the Appalachian Trail included you petting a fluffy dog you met along the way. You love the mountains and the beach. You were excited to turn 15 so you could sit in the exit row of a plane. You want to go to San Diego just so you can eat tacos at the tiny taco stand we've visited twice. You sleep in the car on every road trip, including our two week trip down the west coast.
You are loyal to friends and buy McDonald's for whomever forgot their cash. You buy thoughtful birthday and Christmas presents that people cherish. You still let me call you Booger and walk arm in arm with me at the mall. You're witty and punny and make jokes when we're together. People love you and love to just be around you.
Congratulations, Alexzandria. I know you're holding off on official adulthood until your 18th birthday in a couple of months, but, don't you see, you're already there, and you're doing a job that makes us all proud.
We love you!