I got this text message this morning from my oldest, my college girl, my Aub.
Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday this girl was prancing around Blackberry Flats, such a cutie patootie. Full of vim and vinegar that one.
I think about how just a few years after this picture was taken, she was at Yokota East Elementary school, a DODDS school on base in Japan. I walked her to school in the mornings. After a few weeks she asked me to start picking her up in the van (we lived five minutes away) because, she said, the school days just “wear me out.” And so I did. Many afternoons we stayed and she and friends played on the playground until they were ready to lock the gates. Such beautiful days, much like this one, days filled with classes and art projects and Japanese culture class and book sales in the library. I helped with class parties and was the assistant in her art classes. If she had something going on, I was there.
And now, somehow time has slipped by, and I’m not. There. Physically. But yes, I was still cheering her on today. Even if she didn’t see my face going all goofy with pride over a job well done.
Today as I was cleaning out some drawers, I found a note tucked away that I had written her. “Keep smiling. You did great.” And on the other side, “What’s for supper?” When? Ah yes, the county spelling bee in elementary school. We went through several of those in her time. I had written the note before we left that morning. Because I knew that her just being up there was “great,” even if she were to go out on the first word she tried to spell. And no matter how she did, she got to pick out what to have for supper. Precious memories.
Later on this afternoon Aub and I were texting again and I suggested she could run an errand she needed to take care of this afternoon.
And she sent me this back. Another moment in my girl’s life that I’m not there as I used to be–snapping pictures, giving a thumbs up, cheering her on. I was teasing her with that “comment o’ guilt” and she knew it. But still, it hit me full force today that she has definitely moved on from the “Mama in the audience” phase of life.
Wasn’t it yesterday that she was graduating from kindergarten?
Okay, maybe not. Well then surely it was yesterday she graduated from high school, right? Maybe last week?
Almost a year, you say? Do what? I cannot believe it. But there it is. The calendar doesn’t lie, I guess.
I am so proud of my “sophomore.” (Well, that is hard to say.) She has worked hard, played hard, and found a new life in a new place to call home. And the fact that I have great memories of the same place as my home brings me a special kind of joy. In fact, we’ve just about determined that next year she will be living in the same room I lived in my freshman year. That is just downright cool.
For my girl, who “stuck” to it this year and did a great job, even when things got just about as hard as they could get–a big wink and thumbs up and “Whoo hoo” and all of those other things I’ve done to embarrass you as I sat in the crowd. I’m always in the crowd, baby girl, and I’ll always be your biggest fan. I learned from my biggest fan, you know. Maemae never let me forget how much she loved me, and I hope you will always know how much I love you.
Way to go, boo–keep it up like this and you’ll be graduating before I know it. *sigh*
Y’all, if you’ve got littles, go hug them. I’m off to hug mine. Before we know it, they’ll be graduating and doing their own thing, just like this one.
Love to all.