Dear My Graduating Daughter:
The time has come, you’ve completed your high school journey and life awaits! The presence of the cap and gown in your room are symbolically marking the the countdown to the first days of the rest of your life. When you were born, graduation day seemed a million moons away. Today, I feel like we walked hand in hand with your first steps, read bedtime stories and played dress up just yesterday. Yet, over time, stories were replaced with homework, steps with keys to the car, and princess dress up with your impeccable fashion sense and beauty products.
I look at you and see a grown, beautiful, confident, young woman ready to begin her adventures in the world BUT I also see my baby, my little girl: a reflection of all my accomplishments and fears as a parent. I see a product of 17 years, hoping I’ve impressed upon you all that’s needed to succeed in this world. I continually scroll through my mind for anything I’ve forgotten to share with you so I can create a crash course with you before you graduate. Yet somehow, I know deep inside, you’re ready to figure out some things on your own. I see the same adventurous eyes in you now as I did when you were a child; the same bright, inquisitive, intelligent, independent, contemplating eyes. As a mom, I have this impending feeling of goodbye even though we have a long life ahead with new adventures. Maybe that’s just “the letting go” I hear so much about these days.
We’ve had endless talks about standing up for what’s right, making smart choices, having a voice, and staying true to yourself. Oh how proud I am of your integrity, your intelligence, your drive and compassion. How inspired I am in your creativity, vision, and style in all things. I absolutely love how the world looks through your eyes and I never want you to lose sight of that! It’s truly special and unique: build from it and allow yourself to soar. The world needs your thoughts, your perspectives, your talents and beliefs. Find what speaks to you most in this world and run to it, immerse yourself in it and build a life around it without fear.
I believe we are born with special gifts that are our responsibility to dig deep within ourselves to discover. A voice, a passion within to share with others in hope of appreciation, acceptance and inspiration. Your gift lives within your soul and beats within your heart. It’s expressed through your mind and seen through your eyes; creating, molding, developing and manifesting. Don’t be afraid of it as it’s a part of your spirit. Spend time getting to truly know yourself and what brings you joy, sadness, anger, love, compassion, strength – even fear so you can acknowledge and learn from those things throughout your life. Never look back on choices you make in wonder or regret because life’s a journey. All experiences will continue to mold you into the person you are and who you are meant to be at each phase of your life.
Always remember that your extraordinary beauty on the outside is nothing compared to your inner strength and beauty within. As you accept that diploma on Graduation Day with happiness, excitement and even some butterflies in your stomach, know that I’m your biggest cheerleader, the one clapping and “woo-hooing” the loudest in the stands, with tears of pride, happiness and absolute love for you during this amazing milestone. Remember, you’ll never be alone on your journey in life; I’ll be the voice in your head and your heart. You will always and forever be, my little girl.
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