Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A High School Graduation Letter to my baby...

Earlier this week, my daughter asked me to run an errand with her.  She needed a new pair of shoes.  Now I have been buying various pairs of shoes for four kids for countless numbers of years.  Everything from soccer cleats to running shoes, tap shoes to prom shoes.  When I think of the number of pairs of shoes, the number must be in the hundreds if not thousands...but these shoes caused me to reflect.

You see these shoes are to be worn at her high school graduation.  And she is my baby...the youngest of four.  And so I paused to think about all of those shoes!  The white high top baby shoes that helped them all learn to walk, and supported them as they attempted those precious first few steps.  Sandals that kept their feet cool in summer months and winter boots that protected them from our fierce midwestern winters as they walked to school.  Wellies for the rainy weather in London during our brief but amazing year abroad.  Sport shoes of every size and color--soccer, baseball, football, basketball, lacrosse, running, and dancing.  Boots for horseback riding, Sneakers for cheerleading,  Dress shoes for church, or at least a clean pair in good repair (a mom can hope), and of course flip flops for the beach or pool.

But these shoes needed to be different.  She was asking for platform shoes, because her graduation is to be held on the football field of her high school.  She needs platform shoes to support her as she makes her way across the grass and up to the stage to accept that diploma.  No girl would want to be sinking into the soft spring lawn on spiky heels as she is carefully stepping into her future.  So stylish platform shoes are the perfect shoe solution.  And I am here to serve it up, one last time.  I am here to go with her and help her and guide her, just as I always have been.  But I know these times are precious and few.  I recognize that soon she will be leaving me for her new life in college, where she will make her own decisions and run her own errands and pick out her own shoes.  So Claire, this post is for you:

Dearest Claire:
 (aka Mcgee, Claire Bear, Baby, Coo Coo, and all of your other silly names)

Your dad and I, and sisters and brother realize you are all grown up--our baby is now a young woman, and you have done us proud!  You are beautiful, kind, smart, hardworking, funny,  and have incredible insight.  Your love for your friends, family, grandparents, dogs, horses, pickup trucks and the outdoors has touched us all.  Your ability to make us laugh, and remember to enjoy the simple pleasures in life is unparalleled.  We all know that petting your dog, or looking at the stars or sharing a breakfast with your dad at Corner Bakery give you immense joy.  This has taught us all to be better people by reminding us what is truly important.  You have a talent for finding and keeping amazing friends, and an ability to work hard and accomplish goals that others might have never attempted.  

Your dad and I hope that you will forever think of us as your new shoes--Platforms, that are here to support you in every way as you walk through life with confidence, on your path to wherever life leads you.  You are such a blessing to us and to everyone in your life.  Enjoy these next few days, and relax in the knowledge that God has a plan for you, and it is guaranteed to be beautiful, just like you.

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