I am the proud Mama of a high school graduate!
For all of you who have followed my book, Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood and know the story of our girl’s birth, you know that moments like these hold an extra sprinkle of significance.
Yet, I was so busy getting ready for the event of graduation – cleaning the house, making beds for family and friends, ordering platters of food, replying to graduation party invites, and attending end of year presentations, that I wasn’t really thinking anything about the significance of this moment at all.
And yet, once the day of graduation arrived, and we all sat on folding chairs under the big white tent, and I looked up on that stage and saw our daughter with a huge smile on her face, my throat constricted, and tears started forming behind my eyes.
She’s no longer a preemie, but I couldn’t help but imagine, what if, in all those dark, uncertain moments, we’d been given just a glimpse of the young woman she’d one day become? Just a quick peek behind that curtain. I began to imagine how differently I would have moved through those days. How I would have been so much less afraid and so much more present to both our baby in the hospital and our beautiful two-year-old, Tucker at home.
But, alas, as a dear friend once said, Life don’t work that way, girlfriend.
So I grabbed a tissue from my purse and decided that instead of looking back on what could have been, I can be present to this current moment and allow myself to see what is right in front of me. A beautiful, confident, ambitious, young woman.
And at the same moment, I allow myself to think of all the other parents currently facing the unknown with their babies, and send out a blessing and intention that someday, they too, will be sitting in a crowd of weepy and cheering families watching their former preemies move across a stage to mark the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another.
And what a beginning this will be for our girl, as she has deferred her college acceptance for a year and heads off on a Gap Year program that takes her traveling to different countries all over the world.
New beginnings for us all!