Graduation #3

Like the fool I am and I’ll always be
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
They can change their minds but they can’t change me
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
Well, I know I can share it if you want me to
If you’re going my way, I’ll go with you~ Jim Croce I Got a Name

Youngest graduates today. My dreamer. My traveling buddy. My old soul.

She’s grown so much. It’s hard to think of her as a young woman. I still remember tutus and beads. Mismatched clothes as a fashion statement. Standing up for other kids when she was in Kindergarten. The bumpy years of middle school where she learned that being true to yourself isn’t always easy.

Then high school. Trying different activities until you found your own rhythm. Discovering that what others wanted wasn’t what you needed. Speaking up and out about things that mattered to you. Growing and stretching at every opportunity until you passed your peers on so many levels.

Yes, my dreamer. Don’t ever stop dreaming. You are beautiful. You are kind. You are fierce. And love you.

Graduation #2

Don’t go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore
I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are~ Billy Joel, Just the Way You Are

I just smiled a little smile when I read those lyrics. Middle graduates today. I don’t know how much he remembers about the last 20 years. It’s been one heck of a ride. When I think back to age 3 when I was told to stop thinking you could ever be independent, I cry happy tears. I want to shout from the rooftops so all those who said you couldn’t can hear how you did.

It’s been a journey that took us all over the map. I learned so much from you. You shaped my life in ways I never would have imagined. Most parents think they’re changing their kid’s lives when in reality the kids are changing their parents.

Middle is a hold it close kind of guy right now. I want to respect that. So, know that the young man he has become is amazing. I am so very proud that you held true to your roots and managed to grow in ways no one ever imagined.

I’ll still be here, watching you soar. I hope you know that no matter what, I’ll love you just the way you are.

Graduation #1

She had that Honda loaded down.
With Abercrombie clothes and 15 pairs of shoes and his American Express.
He checked the oil and slammed the hood, said you’re good to go.
She hugged them both and headed off to the West Coast.~ Kenny Chesney There Goes My Life

Four years ago, Eldest set off a journey to gain knowledge that would lead to a career. The Honda was loaded down, although not with shoes. It was filled with hopes and dreams. Nervous energy as we drove away from her childhood home towards an unknown future three states away.

Here we are today, watching her graduate. I’m not supposed to elaborate on her studies, but she did good. She did not choose the easy path. Over the last four years, she tried her hand at different things and started figuring out what she wants to do after graduation.

Watching her shape her adulthood has been fun. She took parts of what she grew up with, added a generous splash of her new found interests and emerged a young adult. Eldest held onto the lessons of integrity and service that were she learned under our roof. This is not an easy task.

I’m proud of her. There’s still many paths to choose from and much personal growth to still happen. But, she’s come a long way from the kid who headed out four years ago. Join me in wishing her much success as she moves forward into her future. I love you Beanie Baby 🙂