Monday, May 26, 2008

A Job Well Done

Love Letter to My Daughter As She Graduates

Commencement. The word means beginning, genesis, advent, dawn. Out there beyond the familiar boundaries of home and school lie the somedays of your dreams. You walk toward, and in doing so, you walk away from. That's the way of things. Here are some thoughts to keep in your heart as you travel your new path.

"In all your thoughts, and in all your acts,in every hope, and in every fear. when you soar to the skies and when you fall to the ground, you are holding the other person's hand." - A.A. Milne

Always remember that you are loved. You were such a sweet little child with your big blue eyes and flaxen hair and that deep, throaty chuckle. You held my hand when we went for walks and your talk was full of whats and whys and whens. "What comes down in spring?" you asked, watching winter's snowflakes spiral to the ground and "When will I be big?" you asked, watching with longing as your siblings climbed the steps of the yellow school bus. I would have held you small and needing me, but my heart knew better. Now that you have become a young woman, the time has come for me to let go. It is time for you to make your own way in the world.

"You yourself must set flame to the torches you have brought." - Anonymous

Remember that you have a purpose. You may not be sure what it is, even though you've wanted to be a teacher since you were six. Crowd into your days every possible experience, every adventure. Live your life to the uttermost. Grow as much as it is in your power to grow.

"You wake up in the morning and lo! Your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe. It is yours..." - Arnold Bennett

Pay attention to the present. All the days leading up to this day make up your past. The future, all that lies ahead of you, begins now. The fleeting moment in between is, in reality, eternity. When you were small, you knew instinctively how to focus on whatever you were doing. You learned to lose yourself in a book or a game or a daydream. You poured every ounce of your being into the moment at hand. Distractions will come your way. Remember to spend your hours wisely each day and tomorrow will be taken care of.

"Home is the place where,
When you have to go there
They have to take you in.
I should have called it
Something you somehow
haven't to earn." - Robert Frost

Home is where the heart is. You've had several homes: the little house in Connecticut where you were born; the rented house high on the hill in Walden, Vermont where you used to catch snowdrops on your tongue when the wild wind brought one snowstorm after another and the log cabin in Danville that you helped to build; the houses on Barnum and Silver Streets in Massachusetts; and finally the dormitory at college where you've spent the last four years. Now that you are setting off to far places, remember this: as long as we are in each other's hearts, you are never far from home.

Your Momma

*note from a proud Momma: This letter was written for my youngest daughter as she graduated with her BA a few years ago. This past Friday, she earned her Masters Degree in Higher Education and has been accepted into the doctoral program for the coming school year. She received an award for outstanding achievement and was recognized as "possibly the finest writer this program has seen."


Lee said...

"possibly the finest writer this program has seen."

Nature & nurture.

You have every right to be very proud!

Java said...

AM, what a great piece or art your writing is. It is so beautiful that you two can share all this, congratulations to you both!!!
(I always knew it runs in the family LOL) X

TheElementary said...

"You walk toward, and in doing so, you walk away from."
So very beautiful...right from a mother's heart. You should be very proud of your daughter right now. This was so eloquent...

meggie said...

Congratulations to your Beautiful Daughter.
Congratulations to you, her Beautiful Mother.

Pauline said...

Lee, I burst into tears when her mentor, who was handing her the award, said that. I've always thought she was a marvelous writer but it's nice to have that professional and public affirmation.

AD - she and I have developed a special relationship over the years. She has become a wonderful friend, as have all my children.

Thanks theelementary. I am so very proud of her!

Thanks Meggie!

Ruth D~ said...

Oh, how nice. Congratulations to your daughter for the fine accolade on her writing. Must be genetic.

etcetera said...

Thanks Momma. The words, they come from somewhere outside of my head; I'm certain you know what I mean. Thank you for teaching me how to write them down. I will love you forever :)

Pauline said...

Ruth - I don't remember ever teaching my kids about writing unless it was purely by example, so perhaps it is in the genes!

Trina, I know exactly what you mean! And oh! that lovely surge of love in my heart and the spill of tears when I heard that praise for you! I will love you forever, too!

dennis said...

Dennis says congratulations! You had to have had a lot to do with her success. Dennis understands she's her own person, but she's your kitten too.