Congratulations Miss Eighteen {Living Outside the Stacks}

Munro. I’ve stopped and started writing this so many times that I’ve lost count…

I don’t have the words to express the love, pride, and gratitude that I’m feeling right now. You have overcome so much and demonstrated a strength and grace under pressure that can only be attributed to the mercy of God. I thank Him every day for allowing me the privilege and honor of being your mother.

Next week, when you walk across that stage and accept your diploma, don’t take that moment lightly. You earned that degree…

Eighteen years ago, your dad and I sat in a hospital room, holding your tiny hand in ours, unsure of what the future held for you. We waited all day and all night for you to open your eyes. The first thing you focused on was the TV. The Jeffersons was on. I remember the nurses laughing because you were watching so intently. Then we waited a few more days for you to smile that “Jazi Smile” that we loved so much. Your first smile was directed at Aunt Yvette. I tried not to take it personally. I’ve been the recipient of that smile many more times over the years.

I remember watching you take your first steps. Toddling around like a shrunken Frankenstein – both arms and legs stick straight. Every time you fell, you’d laugh. And, of course, your older sister would be there to pick you up. You were her baby. I still remember her awed voice whispering “I have two babies” when she saw you and your brother for the first time.

Then there was the first day of school. You and your brother standing on the porch, hand in hand, waiting for the bus to take you off on a new adventure. There were concerts and plays, events where people hushed me because I’d stand up and cheer: “Those are my babies!” Your little sister standing beside me, giving the “dog pound” cheer.

Math. That’s never been our strong suit, has it? But you did it. You worked and you passed. That’s the one area where we thought it best that I not help you. smile

Your first date. You slipped that one right on past us, didn’t you? I suspect that was a group effort…

And now you’re about to become a high school graduate…

As you walk into your new life, I want you to remember a few things:

  • Put God first in everything you do
  • Know that Dad and I will always be here to support you
  • Your sisters and brother are your biggest fans
  • Keep that Jazi Smile and your incredible sense of humor

I love you,