Locally, the local high schools are gearing up for graduations. In the spirit of the letter I wrote to my daughter on her wedding day, I wrote a letter to my youngest on the day she graduated from high school four years ago. At the time, her mother and I had been apart a few months, so it was a bit of a turbulent time. I posted it on my old blog, and am re-posting it here.
A letter to my daughter, whom we’ve nicknamed Smookie:
Well, you have finally done it! The journey may have seemed long, but now you are about to accomplish and celebrate one of life’s milestones-graduation from high school. Your mother and I are so proud of you, as we have watched you grow from a cute little girl into a pretty young lady. There are so many emotions that I feel about this day-a bit of sadness as I realize that you are all but grown up, but joy and pride in your achievement.
Your mom and I raised you from early on. I can remember you not being too happy with me at first, but through the years we became closer. I look back at those early years-how you asked me to tuck you into bed almost every night and how you would never let me leave after I did it once, it had to be multiple tuck ins until I finally told you no more. Teaching you how to drive a little when we lived in McDaniel by letting you drive in the long driveway and make three point turns. Playing games with you and watching you get mad when you lost and I would win (not always, but it showed something I didn’t really take note of until you were older-your competitiveness). As you got older, you put more work into school while you showed your likability. I remember we’d go to the beach on vacation and because you were so much younger than your sister, you didn’t have anyone your age to play with. Yet you would play with children you had never met, and be just a friendly and helpful person with a good heart, which you have maintained to this day.
I am proud to have helped to raise such a sweet, kind, beautiful young woman. I can’t say it was always smooth-there were some rough spots along the way. You may say that since your mom and I have split apart we are going through one of those rough spots now. Despite all that, we love you and are so happy for you. You worked hard at everything you did in school and you showed the hard work paid off. Athletics, student government, extracurricular activities, academic achievements-you did a little bit of everything, as we saw when you won several awards. We want the best for you, and we want you to keep that spirit of hard work and achievement going. We would like nothing better than to see you supersede our accomplishments. Parents always want their children to do better than they did; the same is true for you and for us, no matter where we may be.
Congratulations daughter! Enjoy your day!