This weekend we celebrated my daughter, Christina's graduation from college. And this week's blog is dedicated to her and her accomplishments.
From the day you were born, you served up the unexpected. Ending up in the hospital for 11 days was just your way of making a grander than expected entrance, and the memories I have of all of your family gathering around your incubator/plexiglass cubical to be near you, and hold you and shower you with love and attention truly made an impact on the type of person you would become. You have always put family first, and when given the opportunity showered all of us with your love and attention as if you had already decided in those first few days of life that you would "pay it forward" to all of us.
If a character in a novel held your name, the image that would come to mind would be of a raven haired, olive skinned beauty: Christina Marie Lantero. But once again, you serve up the unexpected through your porcelain fair skin, strawberry golden locks and beautifully expressive, dark blue eyes.
Your fierce independence was evident even back in preschool, when Mrs. Hoekwater wanted you to have a "buddy" to help when you broke not one, but BOTH of your arms. And I remember you telling me in no uncertain terms, that if you had to endure another day with a "buddy", you simply would prefer not to return to preschool!
From high school to college, your father and I have been able to see you mature with such grace and style; seeing you form amazing friendships with a wide spectrum of personalities, watching you overcome obstacles and disappointments, and cheering you on as you juggled sports and activities, while maintaining your grades and nurturing the people around you. You have always been willing to step up and lend a helping hand when I have needed you. You have no idea how much that means to me. You helped with the retirement party last year, and the educational conference, and there have been countless other times you have created videos or slide shows that have enriched your family's lives. Your giving nature has exceeded all of my expectations.
And now, you have graduated with a degree in education. I figured you would find a job at a wonderful local school and they would be so glad to have found you. But no, you will be heading to the other side of the globe, to inspire and teach and influence lives in the polar opposite time zone!
Words cannot express how proud I am of you and your accomplishments. You are fearless,intelligent, kind, and passionate. You will be a wonderful role model to all of your students. And I can hardly wait to see what life has in store for you. Of one thing I am sure. It will be completely unexpected but utterly delightful. Just like you!