When you were eight years old, you couldn’t wait to be 10. Double digits. Tall enough to ride the roller coaster, and soon enough, taller than me.
You hit your teen years already counting the days until you started drivers ed, taking your driving test, and getting your license. You couldn’t wait to become a Sophomore, Junior, Senior. Couldn’t wait to get your first job, and make your own money. You couldn’t wait to start the best years of your life.
And tomorrow, you’ll hurry the hours away until it’s time to get dressed for Prom. And the after party. And graduation next week.
But my darling child, stop. I need a minute – I need a moment to just exhale. I’ve been holding my breath for what seems like so long, I need time to reconcile my thoughts of you, to what is truly standing before me.
You are no longer a baby. My baby.
Since you were born, I’ve felt like my heart was beating outside of my chest. Every scrape, every fall…every heartbreak that you felt, I felt too.
They say it goes by so fast…and whoever they are, they’re right.
It seems like literally yesterday, I was crawling on the floor after you. Clapping when you made your first word, your first step. And then, helping you tie your shoe, teaching you to ride a bike, to throw a ball, to swim a lap.
Don’t get me wrong, as much as I miss you being little, I am so impressed with who you are now. I am so proud – so incredibly proud of you.
But this…right now…this. Prom. Graduation. It’s all so overwhelming for me. Because soon you’ll be walking away and walking towards something amazing. Your future.
And while I want to be a part of it, I know that I will also need to let you stretch your wings. I know I’ll need to trust that you remember all I’ve taught you, and let you fly – no…let you soar.
So please try not to roll your eyes when you see me tear up over the next week or so. Please try to remember that I loved you before you were born, that I take my role as your protector, provider, keeper of the secrets, very seriously – and it’s going to take me a minute to wrap my head around all of this.
I love you. I’m so incredibly proud of you. And no matter what the future holds for you, I will always be here for you; your light in the darkness, your biggest fan and sounding board. I will always be a soft place to land.
Congratulations my darling – you did it!
Dedicated to the Class of 2019 and all the sobbing parents who love them.