Last night was Annie's graduation from high school. (PAUSE). That short sentence holds inside of it 18 years of WOW.
I sat in the Hilbert Circle Theatre waiting for her to appear at the top of the stairs, ready to make her entrance as "Pomp & Circumstance" trailed from the quartet on stage. Why didn't I think to ask her what side she was walking in on?
And then, there she was. It was the first glimpse I'd had of her in cap and gown. She had a rose in her hand and smile on her face. Time stood still.
As tears streamed down my face, I captured her frozen in my gaze. A sudden panic rose up inside of me. How did we get here already? Have I taught her everything she needs to know for life? I think I need more time...
I watched her move down the stairs toward her seat with the rest of the Class of 2015. She was confident and happy.
When her name was called...Anna Michelle Magan (prounounced correctly, thank you very much)...she glided triumphantly across the stage. She graduated with honors, but even better, I think she graduated with Excellence in Human Living. She is both passionate and compassionate. She seeks to be a righter of wrongs, still unjaded by life. She is stubborn and sometimes maddeningly insistent. She is creative and inquisitive and determined.
As she crossed the stage, there was no hesitation, no panic on my part. Oh, there were a few tears. It was as if I could physically feel the separation happening as my firstborn child, my only daughter, stepped into her own life. It's a life where she will need me still. Heck, I'm almost 45 and I still need my mom.
But it is her own life and as she came down the stairs, diploma in hand and something bigger than a simple smile on her face, I thought to myself, "She's got this."