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Tim Myers: For our daughter on her graduation

Myers’ Musing

Posted: June 6, 2009 5:19 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Sitting on the home side of Cougar Stadium at College of the Canyons on the cool May evening, looking out at the sea of purple and gold, many parents would simply state they did not believe this day would ever come.

I cannot say that, but I can say that I did not think it would come this soon.

I remember clearly the day of your birth at Clarkson hospital in Omaha, Neb. Your mother's relatively easy labor while I watched reruns of "Green Acres" in the early morning hours portended an easy childhood.

Even through your teen years, when the worst event was a sharp tone to your younger sibling. Oh, that all children could be this sweet.

I still recall the day we brought you home from the hospital and picked up your 2 1/2-year-old brother, now a strapping 20, from your great-grandmother's house.

He took one look at you, smiled and asked, "Is that my baby?"

You were, indeed, our baby. But how can I reconcile this with the beautiful and confident young woman who put on the purple robe and mortarboard this evening and prepared to walk across the stage?

Though born in Nebraska and spending your preschool years in the Dallas area, you truly stand as a California and Santa Clarita girl, starting kindergarten at Helmers Elementary in the Saugus Union School District, entering the brand-new Rio Norte Junior High School as a seventh-grader, and completing your secondary education at Valencia High School.

While trying many things in your younger years, your true passion emerged in dance, spending countless hours at Star One Dance Center in Newhall preparing and rehearsing for competitions.

Eventually you were made assistant teacher, and there you found your true passion for education in teaching the younger students, coupled with your tremendous mentoring relationship with your younger brother and two young nephews.

We knew you made the right decision to pursue credentialed education when you engaged at a public venue in a game of red light, green light with your nephew, and, spontaneously some 20 preschoolers in the general area joined the game.

Out of all our five children, I must admit that I had borne some trepidation at your launch on the world at large this August, when we drop you off at college.

But this fear evaporated when you seemed to grow up overnight after obtaining your driver's license very close to your 18th birthday. (Another sign of your maturity: not pushing to leave the nest until you felt ready.)

Perhaps that maturity always existed, but I just chose not to see it, hoping to always hold you in the form of that sweet young girl who started kindergarten at Helmers Elementary in the fall of 1996.

I will especially miss our appointment viewings of "American Idol," "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," all must-see TV for fathers experiencing difficulties in finding conversation topics with their teenage daughters.

I will also miss my participation in the Dad Recital dances at Star Dance that began last year. Your 5-year-old nephew who announced his intention recently to date and marry you will miss you dreadfully.

Your departure will hit your dear mother hardest as she becomes stuck in the house with a husband, teenage son and kindergarten grandson who cannot seem to hear - much less follow - her simple instructions.

While you will not be particularly far away, we know you will inevitably separate from us and find your own way in life, and your mother and I could not stand more proudly.

And so we come back to this graduation night.

Your older sisters came from out of town to celebrate the occasion, along with two young nephews. Your older brother made a special trip from university, and your younger brother prepared to hoot and holler when the readers spoke your name, indicating your move to the next important stage of life.

And your mother and I look forward to that day when you walk back through our front door not only as our beloved daughter, but finally as our dear and treasured friend.

That will constitute the fulfillment of every parent's ultimate dream with respect to his or her children.

Congratulations to all the Hart district grads and their families during this season of accomplishment and transition.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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