I remember all your firsts:
The first time I saw your face, scrunched up and crying when the nurse handed you to me.
The first time your big brother held you, his four-year-old arms cradling you carefully as he asked “Where is she going to sleep?”
Your first sleep over, when at age four, you told me you were old enough to walk to the door by yourself, and that I shouldn’t worry or miss you because, after all, it was only one night, and I had a picture of you I could stare at.
The first time I dropped you off at preschool, your school bag bigger than you and your smile bigger than your face, waving to me as you ran into the classroom.
The first time you were hurt by a friend, your big green eyes filled with tears as you asked me why someone would not include you in a play date.
The first time you got angry at me, those same green eyes wide and blazing, questioning my decision and my words.
Your first days of kindergarten, middle school and high school, your smile still big but those eyes tinged with worry, and even doubt.
And now, instead of remembering your firsts, I am counting down your lasts:
Your last full day of high school (Where did the past 12 years go?)
Your last high school exam (Yes, you do still need to study for it!)
Your last day as a high school student (Remember this day, you will relive it over and over again for years!)
Your last summer before college (The best days of your life!)
High school graduation is such a momentous occasion in one’s life. It’s a stepping stone to adulthood.
Friends you swore you’d never loose touch with will slowly disappear, replaced by new friends and only seen at reunions and homecoming games.
Summers will no longer be spent lounging by the pool and hanging out at the mall. Instead, there will be summer classes to attend, internships to be scored and the world to be explored.
These really are the best days of your life. Enjoy them. Don’t rush through them. Stop and take the time to appreciate home. Oh, not necessarily the physical building (although your room is rather comfortable) but the places you have existed in and taken for granted these past 18 years.
I remember someone describing home as the place that is close to the heart of the owner. Yes, close to the heart of the owner. That is the place I want you to enjoy – anyone or anyplace that is close to your heart.
Congratulations my soon-to-be high school graduate. As I watch you walk down that aisle at graduation, I will have another first to remember:
Your first steps into adulthood (I’m so proud of you!)