Today was the last day of school. Even bigger than that, it was Sarah's last day of High School. She graduates on Saturday. Preparations have been in the works for months and now we're down to the final few details. (pant, pant, pant). It's been a whirlwind around here getting ready, but in two days we celebrate Sarah.
At the risk of blathering on like a proud daddy, I can't say enough about the young woman she's become. When she was younger I thought to myself, we are going to have our hands full when she gets to high school. This was mostly because of her independent "I do it" attitude. I thought she'd buck us all the way, pushing windows on curfew, sassing, slamming doors, all the things you hear stories about.
Boy was I wrong.
Her presence in our house provides a sense of love, it puts us all at ease a bit more than when she's gone. (Well, maybe not ease in Ben's case). She has a wonderful sense of humor and "gets" Donna's and my jokes and nuances. She has a deep faith that will carry her far and a servant heart.She is an introvert at heart, but can turn on her charm in a crowd rather well. Like Donna and I, she has a small circle of friends, but they mean the world to her. That's a notorious introvert trait. She also has more boy friends than girl friends. Part of that is that she's a try-hard and has no time for nonsense and cattiness. She doesn't care much what others think and doesn't run with the popular crowd because it's not her style.
These next couple of months will be cherished. Every time I see her now, (which is rarer with each day, in part because of work, boyfriend, and friends) I just take time to enjoy her presence. Talking about the crazy customer at Pick N Save, or the school project she worked on, or what's new with her soon-to-be U of MN roommate.
I cling to these moments because I know they're numbered, seventy four to be exact. In seventy four days she'll be under a different roof, with different rules, eating dinner with different people. Meanwhile our table will have an empty chair, unless Chester takes it as he is known to do, and there will be a little less rattle and hum in the house every day.
Oh sure, there'll be endless texting, skype and bus trips home, but as anyone who's gone away to college knows, everything changes there. You do not come home the same person. She'll come back and declare, with relative certainty, that her parents are crazy. And she'll mostly be right.
But then she'll leave again, and return to making her own life - as she should. I would not trade my college days for anything, even though I lived at home and commuted to work. I was still learning, I had a decent paying job and made some lifelong friends along the way.
That is my prayer for her. A good experience that changes and shapes her for even more good. I think we've done a good job laying the foundation, now it's up to her to pave her way, make decisions, good and bad, and become everything we've hoped.
I have no fear she will do exactly that.
I love you Sarah Jessica, now and forever!