It started with a Facebook meme yesterday, posted by someone who's obviously ready for summer. “Four Mondays left!”
And then Hallie reminded me that I’d mentioned we should go to breakfast a few times on her late mornings these last weeks of school.
Her dad and I took her for breakfast this morning where she had a bananas foster waffle and thought we were heroes again for just a second.
To make things clear, these aren’t just the last weeks before summer, but the last weeks before she zips up that long black gown and dons a graduation cap whose tassel will swing before those warm brown eyes of hers. We're in the last weeks before she walks across that stage and closes a chapter of her life, and mine.
I’ve already been through this graduating thing with her brother. I spent the whole year crying; one time in my closet to conceal my snubbing.
Though equally touched, I’ve been better with Hallie outside the incident in March where I lost my marbles in Walmart while rolling my cart from the automotive section to the beauty section. The toy aisle just so happens to be between and I accidentally caught a glimpse of girl toys.
My mind went back to hours spent there picking out Littlest Pet Shops which would later be posed; tiny plastic models photographed by Hallie with the digital camera she got from her grandma.
I pulled the cart onto the aisle next to the Barbies and sobbed. The next day she turned eighteen.
Closing chapters is hard because closing chapters means at least a little bit of letting go. A friend reminded me not so long ago that hands that release have space to embrace the next thing coming.
We can't help the tears that come out of nowhere seizing our eyes and somehow stinging the back of our throat. They've earned their place on our cheek or the back of our index finger as we wipe our eye corner before anyone sees.
But make no mistake, as much as I welcome the tears, I invite joy onto these final pages. After some tough seasons we made it.
We have accomplishments to celebrate...Lessons learned to victory over too. Excitement is here smiling ear to ear.
For all the things we leave behind, we carry with us our most precious, treasured memories and those secrets that whispered to us about fragile, beautiful life. We'll meet up with the yet to be discovered in this next chapter. We're just adding to the pages.
Yes, we made it...and we're making it.