Friday, October 22, 2010

Milestones: Theirs or mine?

My oldest daughter is a senior in high school.  I've enjoyed watching her grow and blossom over the years, reaching many milestones.  Sometimes I sit back and think, "Are these her milestones or mine?" 

This week contained two biggies: ordering her cap and gown plus senior pictures.  On Tuesday night, we sat on my bed, talking about invitations and accessories.  Thankfully she has inherited my frugal nature.  We ordered a small set of announcements, her cap and gown, a t-shirt, and "status cards" which we can custom design with her picture and contact information to pass out to her friends. 

Yesterday was picture day.  I have several friends who have photography businesses, so it was so hard picking just one.  In the end, I took my emotions out of it and picked the photographer with the personality that best matched that of my senior.  Purposely, the appointment was scheduled for a time when I couldn't be there.  I wanted these pictures to be about her.  She didn't need a "helicopter mom" hovering overhead.  I sent her younger high school sister with her while I took the younger ones to swim lessons and gymnastic class.  The only request I had was that one of her outfits consist of a dress shirt with some more formal portrait-like poses.  Other than that, everything was fair game.

She brought several props and outfits.  Her snare drum and sticks, a top hat, a trench coat, a t-shirt with comfy jeans.  Within the next two weeks (give or take), we will see the proofs.  The photographer took a ton of pictures but we all know that typically only a fraction are what you really want to keep.  I may post a picture or two on my blog, but please don't feel offended if I don't post a picture of her face.  I rarely post pictures of my children's faces for the whole world to see.  Typically I have them password protected or restricted to "friends" on social network sites.

The next step: college applications.  It's hard to imagine that this time next year she'll be half way through her first semester of college.  So many milestones for her - or are they mine?  In less than 20 years, I have gotten married to my high school sweetheart and we have raised five children together.  Aren't their milestones also ours?  The birth of a child, her first steps, first tooth, first word, first day of school... and now graduating high school.  Yes, their milestones are also our milestones as are they the milestones of our parents.  Together we grow and we learn. 

As I watch my little girl grow into an adult, one thought keeps going through my mind:  Hug your babies tight!  They grow up way too fast! 

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