A Song for You, My Beautiful Girl

"That's why I wrote this song to sing

My beautiful girl"

(The Girl -Dallas Green)

The morning started off just fine. I had a ten o'clock checkup and I was on schedule. The dishwasher was loaded, the house was picked up and I was on my way to getting dressed by 8:33. That's when I got a text from our middle, Hallie.

She'd sent a screenshot of a letter with information on her graduation planning/next year's class schedule meeting, a meeting that was nowhere on my radar. What would be the time for this conference? ...9:10 this morning; a short 37 minutes after I got the text... I still had to finish getting ready and drop something off somewhere.

I busted it to make it on time. At 9:06 I was speeding down Spurlock Street when I decided to plug my phone in to get two minutes of charge before getting out of the car at the high school.

Our car has the awesome feature of automatically connecting to the music app when you plug your phone in. Typically, a random song pops up bringing instant cheer to my cruising. Not this morning. Jason recently downloaded a bunch of songs from our cloud on to my phone. I have Jason's music, as well as some of Hayden and Hallie's music.

Today an unfamiliar song filled the car in that last stretch of Spurlock. It was a song about chasing dreams and sailing around the world.

Today reminded me that I can be a speedster. I can physically get where I need to quickly. My mind can rush to places too. Those short lyrics sent me into an emotional tailspin. I instantly thought about a four-year-old in pink plastic heels who turned her dress-up trunk on its end to make it into a pulpit where she preached. Just yesterday it seems she pulled out of the driveway with her hands on the wheel for the first time.

My girl is now on the cusp of her senior year. Where the heck have I been? For the remaining stretch on Spurlock, and the last lines of the song, I alternated my fingertip to each outer eye-edge in attempt to hold my earlier 12-second mascara application in place.

Walking in to the high school I saw one of our favorite teachers, Mrs. Jordan. She knew why I was there. Like a typical senior mother I told her it was Hallie's last schedule planning meeting and proceeded to wipe my eye corners again.

In the meeting the counselor asked questions about Hallie's major and where she desires to go to school. I thought to myself, we don't know that yet.

But surprisingly Hallie, like a songbird, chirped a happy and confident answer for every question that was asked. I wasn't prepared for all this, but maybe she is.

I think about you parents who are getting ready to watch your kids walk on stage to receive their diploma in just a few months. Since walking through this nearly three years ago with Hayden, our oldest, I've had a heart pang for those of you who have a list that includes "order graduation invitations". I've thought a half-dozen times about texting my neighbor. Her boy is a senior. My friend just posted pictures of her and her daughter at UT, the college she'll be attending in fall. I'm sad for my mom friends. We're approaching the final lap of high school with Hallie. Some of you are reaching a finish line of sorts.

I wondered this morning how I missed getting the memo for the meeting at school. It came as a surprise, as did the fact that this chapter is winding down. Honestly I don't know how much our level of awareness of the changing of days matters. It's not any easier when we know what's coming. We can't push pause.

All I know is that two lines from this morning's song are stuck in my head...

"That's why I wrote this song to sing

My beautiful girl..."

My pen has both furiously scrawled and made deliberate bold marks on her music sheet. Today I was reminded that there's a time to let my pen rest and just listen to the song she's been writing on her own. It makes my eye corners unstable, but it's really quite beautiful.

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