I am not quite sure how it happened, but when Grace left for school yesterday, she looked like this girl to the left, proudly holding a Little Mermaid lunchbox and so excited about seeing her friends and teachers. And then, in the blink of an eye, she turned into the most amazing person and graduated with honors as Senior Class President! Jamey and I have been receiving all kinds of 'congratulations' from people who have been telling us what great parents we are, but the truth is, our daughter is just pretty much the best thing ever, and, being the first-born, of course we basically had no idea what the heck we were doing most of the time. So when we get these compliments, the first thing that comes to my mind is, "Well, this is just proof that God is really gracious to me!" Which is true, because not only did I get the most incredible daughter, but I have the most spectacular son as well (but this was not his graduation, so I will write no more about him today - he is at a friend's house playing soccer and riding a pig. Yes, a real pig; no joke!).
Grace graduated with a GPA of 4.3-something, which means she is both smart and determined, which we know very well at our house- in fact, I told her years ago that I will bake her a cake to celebrate her first 'B'. It hasn't happened yet. The cake will have to wait until college, alas. Miss Smartypants will have an extra-long summer (well-deserved) and then start at Cal Poly (a quarter school, so move-in day in the dorms is September 11) in the fall. She will be majoring in psychology with an emphasis in child development and is interested in doing some kind of work with kids who are in crisis. After watching her counsel and care for her friends over the years, I have no doubt she will do a fantastic job. Of course, this could change, and that would be fine - she once wanted to be a nurse (until she realized she doesn't really like sick people) and then an interior designer (which is rather a hobby of hers anyway, and explains why her room is ever-changing).
A friend warned me that I would need to bring a box of kleenex to graduation, but I didn't cry (although I admit I did get teary when I thought about all of the kids out on the field and how darn proud I am of all of them - some of them went through an awful lot in high school!). I think the emotion I've been feeling the most is excitement - I just feel like Grace is going to make the greatest grown-up! And I can't wait to see what happens next. I don't expect time to stop, but it would be nice if it could just slow down a little.