This weekend we’re celebrating this kid and I’m feeling overwhelmed. Trying to wrap up all the days and emotions in a few words is hard.
See, this kid made me a mom. When she was four months old, my own mom was in a car accident and broke her neck. We visited her almost every day, for weeks through surgeries and weeks in rehab. This kid came with me. She doesn’t remember it, but my mom said seeing her little face is what got her through those hard days. Her little face got me through them, too.
This kid loved pink, and dogs, and jelly beans. She collected things: My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, gummy bears. She learned to read, and loved it. She stayed at the table long after dinner, chatting with the grown-ups. Then she chatted up her teachers on the playground instead of playing with her classmates. She was funny and quirky and old beyond her years.
As she grew up, this kid seemed to skip over the awkward phases I remembered from my own tween and teen years. She knew what she liked and who she was, and it was easy for me to pretend I knew exactly who she would become. I was so wrong. She is so much stronger, self-aware, and intelligent than I imagined. Today as she ushered each of her classmates through graduation with a handshake, she shared a genuine, 1,000-watt smile with every one. I know that she has so much more to share in the years to come.
When she was three years old, this kid announced from the back seat that she was ready to drive the car. As she takes the wheel now, I’m so excited to see where she goes.
Congratulations, Baby Boo. Love you.