It’s time to get going with my blog again. I’ve caught up with my critiquing duties and I’ve had my agent pitch session (future post), so that means I’ll be dropping by everybody else’s blog real soon to say HI. I thought I’d start off by posting the letter I gave my daughter when she graduated from college a couple weeks ago. Hope you enjoy it! :)
This is the fourth letter I’ve written for you. I was half way through the first one when I deleted everything. It wasn’t saying what I wanted to say. The second time I finished it completely before digitally ripping it up. That one said the right things, but still didn’t feel right emotionally. I was quite proud of the 3rd one when I gave it to your mother to proof-read, until she handed it back, informing me “you can do better.” It seems that since I started calling myself a writer…expectations, my own as well as others, are on the rise.
As far as you are concerned, my expectations have always been high. Regardless of how lofty your mother and I set the bar, you never disappointed. As parents, the goal is to raise our children to become strong and independent, with values and morals we can be proud of. For that, we will gladly accept a 4.0 in parenting, because you and your brother are what parent’s dream of when they contemplate the future. One after another you’ve taken our outlook and made it yours, with your own special flair. That includes my very first expectation…the one I feared the most…that a time would come when you would ravage my heart.
One day I’m chasing after this little blonde hair cuddle bunny who just snatched the hat from my head and was running through the house as fast as her tiny legs would carry her, screaming the whole time from an equal mix of fear from being caught and excitement of being chased. And when she suddenly plops to the carpet, hoping beyond hope she’ll magically become invisible, I have to avoid trampling her by rolling head first into the couch and wrenching my shoulder. Then in a blink of an eye, I’m signing a college graduation card for this beautiful young woman…unable to shake the feeling I’ve been cheated. How could it have all flown by so quickly?
I realize this isn’t goodbye and there will be plenty of special moments ahead of us, but that knowledge does little to help the ache in my chest. They really should do a better job of informing prospective parents that when the expected arrives, there’s a sacrifice that goes hand-in hand, and it’s one with a heavy toll. For when you gain a self-confident adult, you lose the child whose life revolves around you.
My baby girl has been replaced by a college graduate with a future almost as bright as her smile. The expectations going forward from here on out…will be all yours. All of us will be here to help you achieve your goals, or give you a smile when you fall short, but the path to possibility will be yours to choose.
Someday, in the not-to-distant future, when you hear me complaining about old age or this mysterious ache in my shoulder, I hope you’ll still snatch the hat off my head and start running. Because I will always be chasing after you in my heart!