Melancholy and excitement

This Mother’s Day weekend was very special with the graduation of our youngest child from college. Her two brothers joined us to celebrate this amazing young woman’s achievements. We are experiencing equal parts melancholy and excitement.

Our daughter is a terrific person and we are so proud of the woman she has become. She is smart, funny and helpful. She came into her own in college graduating cum laude with a major and three minors, and getting involved with the climbing team, common ground, and an organic garden effort on campus. She is well read and can write or converse on a multitude of topics – today we discussed the maltreatment of women, the various pandemics, the impact of climate change on viruses and business, etc.

Her mom said the best Mother’s Day gift was having her family there to celebrate our daughter’s graduation and help her move out of her campus apartment. Each member was packing, cleaning, sweeping and/ or transporting boxes, clothes, small appliances and furniture. We earned outlr tiredness.

Our daughter will be working this summer on a research project which will take advantage of her degree and climbing skills. She will be rooming with a couple of former classmates. We are excited for her, but have a healthy dose of melancholy. It is the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one.

My little girl with sunglasses is graduating

Little girls are made for sunglasses and hats. I think most parents have a picture of their girl wearing glasses, a hat and a grin with her head tilted slightly askew, to say without saying it, “Look at me!” We are no exception to this rule and have several of these shots. She has been a charmer from day one and this Dad is hopelessly smitten.

The little girl with sunglasses and hat is turning eighteen soon and will be graduating high school heading off to a college about two hours away. She has grown into a lovely young woman, both inside and out. She likes to wear her hair short and knows precisely who Audrey Hepburn is. She loves Jane Austen and Agatha Christie, but only the ones where Hercule Poirot is the detective. She likes his quirkiness more so than Miss Marple, so she has distinctive tastes.

She cares. She cares about the environment and the impact not treating it well has on us and our animals. She cares that some students do not offer teachers respect in the classroom, seeing much behavior as juvenile. She also cares when some teachers say things they should not say in gest. She cares about good theatre and has acted in a couple of plays – she regrets not more. She has always seemed to carry herself older than her peers. She cares about unfairness and sees me lament about leaders not being honest with their constituents. And, she cares about her brothers and gets along well with them and their friends, with her laughter being a joy to hear.

My wife bumped into someone who she found knew our daughter. Realizing who our child was, she raved about how kind and reflective our daughter is. Parents beam when we hear these remarks. Our daughter is interesting and asks interesting questions. She will ask without prompt, “Dad, how was your day?” She may have learned this from her mother, as her mom would rather you talk about yourself, more than she does. Yet, she seems sincere when she asks.

I will miss our car rides to school. Sometimes we solve the worlds’ problems and sometimes we sit in silence until a visual or audio prompt comes up from the car radio or drive. The best conversations are the small snippets you steal away in moments like that. But, just wishing her well in some manner as she exits the car, matters most. I am there for you. We have a few more of these left and then they will be gone. They will be replaced by moving her in to college, phone calls, texts and visits.

She will do wonderfully. I am excited for the next part of her journey. And, she just got a new pair of prescription sunglasses, so Audrey Hepburn beware.