First day of Kindergarten, and always punking your brother.
Last day of high school...

I procrastinated this particular blog post for weeks.  I pretended this wasn’t coming–I mean, we are still wrapping up a pandemic so you can’t be graduating yet, can you? I won’t apologize for the delay.  You are 11th hour just like me, so I know you get it.  (sorry you inherited that trait)

How, and I cannot emphasize this enough, the F**K did we get here?  Didn’t you just toddle off to the bus wearing your tiger paw tag, ensuring you got to the right class?

Tbone and Lucy headed to Kindergarten

I type.  I delete.  The feelings I wish to communicate are right there, but putting them here gives them flesh.  If I recall that your first complete sentence was my Starbucks order, or you knew to set up a 5-day punk on your big brother at age 3, or my unbridled pride watching you sing onstage, I also have to acknowledge the milestone of graduation.  I. Am. Not. Ready.


The last 16 months of social distance and quarantine, so hard on you, gave me bonus time I treasure.  You KILLED IT at quarantine…I mean that sincerely.  From picking up your guitar again, to all the tie dye, to taking the FIT sneaker design course to prepare for your dreams, you used the time to LIVE.

More than that, you brought us all along for the ride.  Even though you KNOW I adore being a BOYMOM more than anything, asking me to do your hair (“Mom, we all know I’m that daughter you never had”) was the perfect afternoon for you and me.  You insisted we build a fire pit in the back yard.  And, most importantly, you discovered terrible sci-fi movies that we binged as a family. {reader, if you haven’t seen LLAMAGEDDON or INHUMANWICH, you have not lived}

"Mom...wanna do my hair today? I think I could rock the Farrah"
one of my better parenting moments, obviously

Years ago, your Nonny said to me, “I think every mom, with their youngest child, tries to make up for any mistakes they made with the older ones.  Maybe you spend more time with them.  Maybe it’s knowing it’s the last child.  But it can also make any parenting mistakes feel worse because you promised this was the one you’d do perfectly.”

At 20 or whatever age I was, I really didn’t get it.  As I stare at the screen and select photos for this post, I feel this deep in my soul.  I keep asking, as I did with your brother two years ago, “Did I do ENOUGH?”

You are my mini (er, maxi?) me.  Admittedly, that has afforded us our share of head-butting, but I pray I have given you more confidence than I had at your age.  Was I able to plant my emotional education into you? I think I have.  I hope I have.

Knowing how alike we are, I do know what you need to hear from me today:

As much fun as you are, and as much joy you bring to those who know you, I see your brilliant mind.  Your very old soul.  I admire your compassion and creativity. As a recent article about your volleyball team said, you are the “emotional leader” of the team. I will always know who you are at your core, even if you don’t share that with everyone.  You will always be seen by me.

I respect your genuine empathy for the vulnerable, and your willingness to fight for what is right and good.  You have taught me to be a much better person.  You have a depth of spirit and character beyond what most see in you, and I am so proud of you. For all these reasons and more, I will miss you so much in the fall. But I also know that you have a hOUme  at Ohio University.  Your dad and I are so happy that you love OUR favorite place to much and cannot wait to see how you thrive there.

5th grade clapout

Today is hard.  I can’t shield you from my raw emotion.  It was all JUST TOO FAST. I crave more time.  More laughs.  More hugs.

I remember all your firsts, but sadly, not all the lasts.  When was the last time I picked you up and held you?  I am forever grateful for each of these images, captured candidly.  When you seek me out for a bear hug, like at your 5th grade clap out, or your WPIAL championship just recently, I know I haven’t seen the last of those hugs.

I am beyond proud of you.  There are lots of tears ahead today–bittersweet pride of your accomplishments and sadness at the end of this phase.  Be patient with me.




WPIAL championship aftermath

My dear friend Trish Cawley made this beautiful video…take a look HERE>—>

trish video

To watch this the link below