We decided to have the after party here at our home so that meant many things had to be done. There were walls that needed to be painted, curtains to be purchased, menus to plan, rooms to clean. From January up until the day everyone started arriving, we were working on this house of ours. I didn't quite get to do all I wanted, but it was sufficient and I was happy with the end results. That's one of the main reasons I suppose I've neglected The Edge in the past five months. I have had to promise others that this won't happen now because there's many things I need to update you all on and I would almost have to write every day to get caught up.
For now, this post is dedicated to my kid.
I got a little emotional around March at random times. The cap and gown hanging on a doorway would make me teary. All the correspondence from colleges would make me shake my head in denial. Finally, I think I reconciled myself that she was going to graduate no matter how badly I want her to be a little girl and need me forever. I found some kind of inner peace and made it my mission to make sure she had a day to remember.
I love how a couple of weeks before graduation, Paige and I seemed to trade emotional places. We would sit on the back porch while Prissy did her business and my girl would get teary eye'd her own self as the enormity of the situation hit her. She was leaving high school. Time to face the big bad world was upon her. I would smile and listen as I remembered thinking those same things when I was in her shoes.
I wondered how I would feel when I saw her walk across the stage to receive her diploma and would I be able to hold the tears at bay so I could truly see her face and expression. Lots of emotions rolling around in the ol' heart right there, friends.
The Friday before The Big Day, family and friends started rolling in. We had family and friends come from near and far to share the weekend and I am here to tell you, my house looked like the Walton's lived here. We had every room filled and even a few kids spread around in the living room "roughing it". It was simply amazing and good times and late nights were ours for the taking. Everyone got along and all pitched in to make sure things ran smoothly. I refused to stress over the small stuff and kept meals simple. We had the after party catered and that in itself was worth the moon. Go to ceremony, come home and VOILA! the food was here and waiting (Neighbor Debbie took over that job and supervised the delivery and set up.)
We had around twenty people go to the graduation ceremony and another twenty or so come to the party afterwards. Suffice it to say, the yard was filled with kids playing and inside was filled with people enjoying good food and company.
Paige was the Belle of the Ball. Normally, she doesn't like being the center of attention in certain situations. This was one of them. I told her to smile and enjoy the day to the fullest because it was all hers. She was gracious and did her best to spend a few minutes with everyone she could. She opened gifts in front of thirty plus people and even stood at the end to give a very well spoken speech of thanks and gratitude. I may have bust a few buttons over how well she did the whole day.
I think my favorite moment of the day was when the graduates were walking in. They were all so adorable in their cap and gowns...trying very hard to act all proper and grown up. We were at an arena so it was a big place and parents, friends, and family, were scanning the line to see their kid. I saw my girl walk in and I admit the tears threatened, but I held them back. When they were all told to sit, I saw her looking through the crowd. When she spotted me, she started waving like a kid and then stopped and started fanning herself. She told me later that they were told to be dignified and solemn for the occasion but when she saw me, it was like she was in first grade again looking for her Mama and then when she saw me, she was that first grader waving like crazy because, "THERE'S MY MAMA!! HEY, MAMA!!" She said at that moment she almost burst into tears and had to look away. I want to squeeze her every time I think of that moment.
I am overwhelmed by the love and support that has been shown to my child. So many from near and far have shown great love for her with driving to be here, sending gifts that are just amazing and humbling, and amazing words of support and love. Of course, I think my kid is pretty dang special, but it's just a beautiful moment to my heart when I realize so many others believe that to be true, too.
Paige, you are such a special light in this world. You have made the world a brighter and much more beautiful place for me since the moment you were born. I see myself in you and I see this incredible unique person that I am proud to know and call my daughter. You have the greatest potential in life just in your smile and kind and gracious heart. Add in your gifted brain, and the world is yours for the taking. I don't know what your future holds, but I want to be there to see it with you. I want to still look around me and tell everyone in earshot "That's MY baby right there!!" while clapping like a loon. I just love you, Baby Girl. More than words can ever say...more than life itself. When I take you to college and cry when I have to leave, just hug me a little tighter and I'll make it through. And as always.....LYMI!!!!
Okay, now I get to share a few pictures with you. Many took pictures and I haven't gathered them up yet so all I have are the ones from my camera. They may be a little out of order, but you get the "picture". Hope you enjoy sharing the day this way....
I did this first thing day of graduation and sent it by picture message upstairs to the sleeping graduate. Woke her right up!
This was before we left for the ceremony.
This was at midnight the night before. I had The Man and Derrick outside putting up the coolest banner EVAH. She had no idea I had this for her.
Love this! I may have left this up for a few days because the world needed to know she was on the way!
The foyer coming into the house.
Michelle (USS Retired) took this. Ha ha. Uh...we also know the hat is on backwards. She had it fixed before walking out. I promise.
The MiMi and the Poppies. Two incredibly proud grandparents.
The Mama and the Daddy...
Aunt Lu and Uncle Chris
After the ceremony. One proud man right there, people.
Walking across the stage...feeling emotional just looking at this picture.
Aunt Cindy and Galyn. Can you tell these people are related?
Paige and Faryn. These two love each other to pieces and Faryn was a surprise guest that came for the weekend. These were two happy people to see each other!
Just to show how big the place was. It was a madhouse!
Miss Arlington Paige
Class of 2012
I'm missing a few pictures. I hope someone got one with her and her siblings because I can't find one! All in all, I believe the day to be successful and I am so glad my kids are five years apart. My poor heart couldn't take it if they were closer together! Please note that on the second picture and the last...she cut all her hair off! I made her promise to wait until senior pictures were taken. Two days before graduation, she went to the salon and told our stylist that she was "starting a new life" and needed something fresh. Of course, it looks fantastic on her.
Thank you all again who helped make this day so amazing and memorable for my child and our family. Your love and support mean so much to us and we will always be grateful.