Sometimes its easy to forget I’m an adult. I habitually behave like a teenager or at least someone in her twenties or thirties. Daily life includes mermaids, zebra princesses, vamps and angels Laughing until I snarffle (is that a word? should be.) there is part of me that doesn’t ever want to grow up.
Last year, I had a huge lesson in humility when my daughter Avery turned 21. Nothing like being able to get a drink with your kid at a bar legally. It made me painfully aware (for a moment anyway) of my own mortality.
enter reality check
If I am not growing older, why are my kids aging? Is this even possible? In case you thought about sending me a birthday card or gift, I will be 46 on July 31. Does 46 constitute late 40’s or am I just being over-sensitive?
Avery, 22, who was 3lbs 10oz at birth, is now a college graduate. YES, you heard right. It feels like yesterday I was listening to her rave about the swings at preschool and how she loved going upside down on monkey bars.
She loved Barbies, princesses and anything girlie. Until first grade, Avery only wore dresses. Whenever approached with pants, she would cry (even in the winter) so we compromised by wearing leggings under a dress with boots. Not sure what kind of fashion statement it was, but she was so little and cute that it hardly mattered.
OK. So maybe I am getting a little misty-eyed and sentimental. Can you blame me? My beautiful baby girl is all grown up. I never put limits on what she could do. In high school Avery was a cheerleader and in band. No one was going to put her in a box and label her. I will never forget the time Avery directed the marching band while wearing a cheer uniform. Talk about versatile!
Avery always knew that once done with high school, she would get a college degree. Both Robert and I went through the Greek system; Robert is a Sigma Nu and I am a Gamma Phi. It was never an expectation that she also join a sorority but I did ask her to go through rush for the experience. She pledged Delta Gamma and never looked back.
I wanted my children to understand the work involved in achieving something as important as higher education. Unfortunately I was one of the many students who starts school only to leave before graduating.
In 2006, with a lump in my throat, I ventured back to school and proceeded to finish an undergraduate degree 2.5 years later. My goal was to finish before Avery graduated from high school Mission accomplished.
I developed such a love for learning that I continued on my own educational path until obtaining an MBA. Hopefully, I set a good enough example for my kids to follow. Go big or go home.
back to the present
Four years later, I was sitting in the shade at the UNR quad awaiting graduation. In the recent past I experienced several graduations, but this one was especially sweet. Avery was able to complete her degree in four years. It took Robert 6 and me 20 years. Discipline and hard work saw her through to the end.
Such a humbling experience doesn’t come every day. Now the big question is what is next? Grad school? a job? move out of mom and dad’s? Whichever stream Avery chooses will be with intention. Congratulations Avery. I love you.