You know it's coming. You prepare yourself, make all the necessary arrangements, and are consciously aware that it's going to happen. You are proud, you are a bit stressed, you anticipate it.
It happens, and you think "Wow. I didn't know how I would feel about it!"
On Wednesday, DD#1 had her final choir concert of high school. Our various choirs are *outstanding* (and I can say that because I'm a music teacher myself, not just a biased mom) and that night was no exception. One song left me sobbing, it was that beautiful.
When it was all over, I hugged my daughter amid the usual mayhem and caught myself thinking "This is never happening again. It's all done."
The next day, same daughter turned 18. I knew it was coming. Really, I did. I knew what all it implied. I still had a very difficult time actually saying the words, and when I got to work that day and somebody said "Good morning, how are you today?" I started crying. At 12:04 I looked at the clock - that's when she was born, and I was thereagain, holding her in my arms for the first time.
The next day, same daughter went to her Senior Prom. This same girl who I've been living with everyday was suddenly a different and beautiful young woman to me, cool and elegant in her upswept French chignon and her understated evening gown. As she posed for pictures, I kept blinking. As I looked at the camera's screen (hers, not mine, I still don't have one yet), she just didn't look like my daughter.
They all came here after the prom, where we served them a midnight breakfast feast that lasted till three in the morning. She still seemed so different to me.
Today, she and her friends are in Manhattan for the day. I've been reliving the images of the last few days in my mind, and knowing that my life is also going through a commencement: it is a beginning of a new life with an adult child who makes independent decisions and will move away from us both physically and mentally. She will come home, of course, and I may think that everything's the same, but it really won't be, will it? She is grown, she is going on to the next chapter in life and I find myself the interested observer instead of the major player.
That's good, isn't it?