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I am the parent of a high school graduate.

It feels like any other day, but my life is going to change forever. The summer will whiz by; we’ll enjoy trips to the pool and the beach, I’ll put vinegar on her sunburns, we may even be able to squeeze in a trip down to Florida to see my dad.

But come fall, I’ll be moving her into her college dorm. I won’t have to make her lunch anymore, or make sure she has gel to tame her curly hair. I won’t fix her bagels, or egg whites, or pop tarts for breakfast, and worst of all, I won’t hear her yell “Momsh!” when she walks in the door after the school bus has rumbled by.

Yes, there will be a big, giant hole punched into my life when she goes to college. My life is going to change big time.

I was beyond proud of her yesterday at that ceremony. She attended the senior awards on Thursday night and was given a cord for being in the top 10% of her class. She also had her Beta Club sash, and cords for both speech forensics and drama. I was amazed that this was my child – she had done well in high school as was evident by her gown that was heavily adorned with the merits of her achievements.

And we cheered her on when she got her diploma; we cheered loud. Perhaps obnoxiously loud. But she heard us while the principal handed her the faux scroll, and that’s all that mattered. When I hugged her after the ceremony, I couldn’t talk. I was trying too hard not to cry.

The party afterward was a blur. I spent most of the day in a frenzied panic not knowing whether to scratch my watch or wind my ass. If it weren’t for my sisters the guests would still be waiting for their food. They kept things moving and gave me constant gentle reminders to do this that or the other. I managed to lose my stash of plastic plates I bought for the party, and cut my finger while slicing up pickles.

I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time outside with my guests, but that’s part of being the hostess. By 9:45 I was in my daughter’s bed with throbbing feet and a happy heart.

My girl made it. She’s done with high school and onto phase II of her life. I’m holding her close this summer because fall will be here before I know it, and I don’t quite know what I’m going to do without her.

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