Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Don't Forget the Sunscreen

My kid is getting ready to graduate from college. I'm not ready. I don't think I ever will be.

The child who was always prone to accidents will be accepting her college diploma next weekend. The little girl who logged more time in the ER than the docs on the show of the same name will be launching herself into orbit in 5 days.

I'm just not prepared to face the inevitable. My Baby is a Grown-Up now.

We knew she was special from the get-go. 3 weeks late; 12+ plus hours of labor; 3 hours of pushing, and she came out looking at the ceiling. Sunnyside Up, they said. The doctors cautioned she'd never make it all the way out the womb alive, & rushed us in for an emergency C-section.

Guess you could say she was pointed toward the horizon from the very beginning of her young life.

She'd had 3 operations by her 2nd birthday. Hernia, plus 2 trips in for ear tubes. She suffered colic, whooping cough and enough ear infections to keep us up 24/7 for a month. She was mauled by a dog on her 1st Thanksgiving.

The ER physician on that trip in said, "By the time she's old enough to care, she won't have a reminder anymore." Well, she's still got a tiny little upside-down "V" on the side of her upper lip.

When we moved to the 'Burbs, we settled in to what we thought would be a mellow life. On a visit to a friend's house down the street, however, an 8-year-old boy drove his new golf club into my 7-year-old chica's jaw.

"It was an accident," the little boy said. A "green stem fracture," the ER doc called it. She drank milkshakes for 6 weeks & the jaw healed on its own.

10 years later she & that little boy worked together at the pool. No one mentioned the golf club or the jaw. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who still dwells on it.

For all the complications of her early childhood, however, Ella Numera Una grew up to be fearless. She swam the entire Summer of the Broken Jaw. She later joined a basketball team, and competed against girls twice her size.

She usually got the best of them, too.

I remember every fall, every scar, every trauma-for her & for me. I know that I have to let go now. But when she accepts her diploma on Sunday, and marches off to fight her own battles, I'll know something else.

The strength with which she owns her own life is no accident.

Editor's Note: The preceding is a June entry in The Random Complexity Writing Challenge. It clocks in at 437. No PCs, Macs or other techie gizmos were harmed in the production of this post.


Cairo Typ0 said...

She sounds like a great daughter!! Congrats on her graduation. :)

(I'd totally be dwelling too!)

Lynda said...

Congratulations to the graduate!

HappyChyck said...

Congrats to your daughter! She sounds like one tough chica!

dkzody said...

congratulations to the parents as well. She could never have done this without your love and encouragement.

Delaine whose baby daughter just celebrated her 7th wedding anniversary (how does this happen?)

Alicia said...

Awwhhh that was so sweet!! Congrats to your daughter and hugs for you! You must be so proud! Oh, and I'd dwell on that golf club "accident" for life!

Vicki said...

Congratulations to your daughter!

Susie said...

Nicely written! That is a wonderful tribute to your daughter and congratulations for bringing her this far:-)

Tom Anselm said...

Kudos to all of you. No small accomplishment to graduate. My youngest just did it from high school, so I know a bit of how your feel. We watched some home videos yesterday, and it is incredible how you take for granted those times, especially in light of the present.
You commented on Learn Me Good that you are inspired to write a book.
No time like today. Grab a good pen and a spiral notebook and start putting down stuff like you just wrote about your daughter. If you can do something like this, so moving, you can do more of it, and before you know it... it's a book.
Good Luck!
Tom Anselm

carma said...

I'd probably still be dwelling on the golf club incident too! Enjoy the ceremony. Bring lots of hankies!

Lindy said...

Congratulations to the graduate and the proud parents! She sounds like one tough cookie!!

Teryn Ashley said...

What an awesome time in your life! You must me so proud! I will one day be in the same situation... Thanks for stopping by! Come look at my blog anytime! As far as the tanning... I'm VERY fair complected too! It works!

Shawn said...

Congratulations!! You must be so proud!

mommytoalot said...

awww she's growing up.
My son is graduating high school in two weeks. Time flies.

Marrdy said...

Oh I have tears in my eyes. That was wonderful. Congrats to her and hugs to you!

LadyStyx said...

Congrats! All those trials just prepared her for life ahead of her.


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