Today is the day. Thirteen years of hard work (counting kindergarten because everything you ever needed to know was taught there) completed. In a few short hours, my baby boy will walk across the stage, shake hands with his principal, administration team, and assorted dignitaries and be a high school graduate. I am extrememly proud of him. It's Graduation Day!
I stayed home the first two years of Taylor's life. He fought to live when the odds were against him, and I could not bring myself to leave this beautiful miracle that God had allowed me to keep. When he was two, I went back to work and counted the hours until I could go pick him up from the preschool. I didn't have to count the entire eight hours because the school called and asked me to come get him. He had sobbed uncontrollably since I had left. Taylor told me between gulping sobs that he thought I had forgotten him. It broke my heart. I could never forget this beautiful child.
The first day of kindergarten was a totally different story. We drove up to the school, Taylor jumped out of the car and yelled BYE! Ummmm... I think I'm going to walk you in, I said. He allowed me to do so. He begrudgingly let me be his overprotective mom. It was my turn for tears. I hoped he wouldn't forget me as he explored the land of centers. I cried all the way to work.
His elementary school did not hold a kindergarten graduation. They do, however, hold a fifth grade one to mark the transition to middle school. I remember sitting in the crowd with Taylor's father surrounded by the parents of Taylor's friends and tearing up when the strands of pomp and circumstance started. Taylor walked down the aisle in his shirt and tie, looking so proud and so mature that I had to fight to hold back the tears. My baby boy was growing up..... and I was going to be one of those moms who cried at graduation.
In middle school, Taylor found his love for running. He discovered teachers who he loved... and others that he hated. He visited Washington, DC with his best friends. He ruled the school. It seemed to last a minute.
High school has been amazing. Taylor has grown into a fine young man. He remains friends with the same friends from elementary school and has added several new faces along the way. His group is a wonderfully diverse mixture of guys and girls who will one day make this world a better place.... and Taylor, my Marine, will protect it. Without a doubt, I have enjoyed every single moment of the journey. And tonight when the strands of pomp and circumstance float across Littlejohn Colliseum, I will cry... out of joy and pride... Those kind of tears are allowed. Afterall, it's graduation day!