Yet another milestone has come and gone. My baby girl has graduated. She will be studying for the NKLEX and once she passes that she is officially an R.N. and will begin her job at the hospital. She is officially all grown up.
I remember the days before she started kindergarten. I don’t know where I came across these articles but they were written by parents sending their kids off to college. Again, mine was starting kindergarten. Didn’t matter. I was bawling as I read these articles, thinking about how difficult it was going to be to send my baby away and not see her every day. Somehow I reeled myself back in and was able to go to Back To School Night, meet the teacher, and when the day came, walk my daughter across the street to the bus stop and wave goodbye to her as she climbed on the bus and rode off to school. Naturally, I followed behind and took pictures of her in her classroom on that first day.
Then came the transition to middle school. I don’t know why this one scared me so much. I suppose I envisioned my sweet little girl being surrounded by all these big kids. I still don’t know what it was because looking back it was so stupid. I suppose maybe it was simply change. She was moving on from elementary school to middle school. She was growing up and wasn’t my little girl anymore. She was my big girl with a locker and everything.
Next was high school. I think I was better able to handle that one than middle school. But I do remember the senior class President telling the kids that their four years would fly by and that their years at TA would be some of the best of their life. I’m sure that would have been true had she been able to continue on there.
Nonetheless, those four years did pass by. Sometimes I think it was a blink of the eye and other times I remember all the turmoil, the tears, the fears, and the uncertainty. Whatever it was the day finally came that my daughter graduated. That day I had warned Jerry Lee about back on her first birthday was finally here. I was soon going to be one of those parents I had read about way back when she was five years old and starting kindergarten.
And now here we are once again. Four and a half years later and she has graduated from college.
In some ways it seems like only yesterday that I was going shopping with her so she could decorate her dorm room. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was helping her pack up the car and dropping my heart off at Ball State. I did such a great job that day. No tears. Kept telling myself I had done my job and it was her time to fly.
In other ways it was a very long four and a half years. Life gets very dicey when your ex opts to modify support on a whim. Her freshman year was one such time and I truly was not sure I was going to be able to help her at all the following year. I had been so proud of myself for being able to pay the remainder of her tuition and give her some spending money. Then Jerry Lee announces he’s lost his job again and everything was up in the air. She ended up taking out loans to cover it all but ended up not calculating correctly. Thankfully Jerry Lee began paying again even at his modified amount so when rent came up short I could help her out. Junior year I paid her rent while her loans covered her tuition and the last three semesters I paid the remainder of her tuition.
Now it’s all over. She’s done.
I began writing this blog in 2016. It’s been almost 7 years. All these years I referred to my daughter as Rock Star because that is what she is. She is brilliant, beautiful, fierce, determined, driven, funny, kind-hearted, fearless, and completely amazing. She has a name.
A couple years ago I had a reader who mentioned something about how I had to write this anonymously. I don’t really remember the context behind it and I’m not going to look right now. But I always remembered that. I didn’t keep it anonymous because I was ashamed or afraid. I suppose I did it because it felt safer when so many other things didn’t feel safe at all.
I told her this weekend I would probably write about her graduation and asked her if she was okay with me disclosing her name. She is. I’d like to introduce my lovely daughter, one of the newest nurses out there, Miss Shelby Lynne. She is awesome. I would say you would be lucky if you ever get her as your nurse but she’s going to be working in the ICU so that’s kind of a double edged sword. On one hand you’d be lucky because she’s awesome and really advocates for her patients. On the other hand you’re in the ICU and that can never be good. I guess if you’re critical you’d be really fortunate to have her as your nurse. How’s that?
Fly high, my darling daughter! The world is your oyster.