To bring you graduation.
Child One, clinging desperately to her childhood, donned cap and gown and, in spite of tears and protestations, walked elegantly toward adulthood last night. Ex-Wife and Sig Other’s work of almost eighteen years, mine of almost nine, culminated with more of a whimper than a bang. Ceremony was sweet and heartfelt, too long and too short all at once. The chubby little bouncy girl is now an elegant giraffe in diamonds and heels – all legs and smiles and tears. We’ve done what we can. She goes into the world a bright, educated, inquisitive human with purpose. She is the future – a future focused on justice and ethical behavior and kindness. The world is unquestionably a better place for having her in it.
And yet I’m sure I’ve failed dramatically. I’m sure she does not have the right tools to fend for herself. I’m sure that with all of the private school education and intellectual athleticism, things very basic and banal have been washed over. So I sat at graduation, pretending to listen to someone else’s child speak, and made a mental list of all the things I will review with her this summer: how to do laundry, the proper way to make a bed, the best tips for college grocery shopping and what to keep in the little dorm fridge, how much aspirin and vitamin B to take to avoid a hangover (though its unlikely this will be her issue). I make this list and know she knows all of these things. But I do it anyway as it soothes me and makes me feel somehow useful.
Tomorrow we’ll wake at the crack of dawn to get back on the road for the last day of the ALC ride. But today we are parents of a high school graduate. Proud and a little melancholy.