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Friday, May 2, 2008


Today I’m watching my oldest child don her cap and gown. She’s complaining about how unattractive they are. She finds the tassel amusing. “I should have unwrapped this thing a week ago, and hung it up so the wrinkles would fall out.” She laughs, and waves it off.

Sometime after eight o’clock tonight, she will be awarded her Associate in Arts Degree in Music. For her, tonight is a dry run. A dress rehearsal. “It’s not a real graduation, Mom. That one happens in two years, when I get my Bachelor’s degree. You can make a big deal then.”

But for me, this is a big deal. Tonight is a right of passage. I’ve watched her for two years… filling out paperwork for grants and scholarships, staying up late to write papers and practice guitar, piano, and voice. I’ve been to performances and recitals, read papers, and watched her grow.

She did this. She worked long hours to pay for it. She worked long hours to earn her GPA. She jumped in and got involved in student government. And tonight marks the end of a season for her.

No big deal.

But as she chooses her dress, and models her mortarboard, I can’t help but swallow hard, and take a deep breath. This is a very big deal. Partly because the other thing she’s doing today, is organizing her stuff---into boxes. She has a rental lined up, two great roommates, and the deposit has already been paid. She got her acceptance letter in the mail last week. August. She’s really going. My baby is gonna be a Missouri State Bear.

I guess that makes me the proud Mama Bear.

Very proud.

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