This weekend my youngest daughter graduated college. Unlike my oldest who breezed through her academics, Peachie always struggled. She needed speech help, math help, reading help and has always been a terrible test taker. On top of that she was pudgy and wore braces for 5 years. And she always had to live in the shadow of her big sister who was smart, cute, athletic and popular. She and I had a special “little sister” bond as I also had a very popular, pretty big sister of whom I was always jealous.
But somewhere in high school things started to turn around for Peachie. The braces came off and like a butterfly she thinned out and turned out to be top model beautiful. (When she tries. I am too used to seeing her in raggy sweats, messy bun and no makeup to really believe the FaceBook selfies) And while her big sister walked away from competitive sports, Peachie excelled at her sport, which got her into a very good school, she became an NCAA athlete, worked triple hard for good grades, found her passion in cardiac rehab and scored huge points for little sisters everywhere.
And so it was with tremendous pride that I watched her graduate on Sunday and have gratitude for:
- That the bills are finally over! Besides tuition, no more texts of water bill,$62. cable bill $52. heat (in winter) $520. Rent, groceries, books. It just never ended. Until now : )
- Spending the weekend, all together, in this beautiful college town - boat cruises, wineries, a gorgeous hike, farmer’s market, food, ice cream and more food.
- That Tony Kushner (playwright, Angels in America) was given an honorary degree at the commencement and gave an amazing speech. I am trying to find the transcript but here is part of a news write-up:
After running off a litany of the world's current ills, from homophobia, economic inequality and the conflicts in the Middle East, and genocide to nuclear proliferation and refugee crises, he urged the graduates to use what they have learned to change the order of the world.
"Parents, teachers, everything worked well enough to deliver you to our ailing and periled world's doorstep. Now step over, enter and fix everything. That's the real reason your parents and teachers and you worked so hard for your degrees. The world needs saving and you smart, educated collegians, you are the ones the world's been waiting for. And time is running out. It really is actually running out."
- That Peachie and her housemates planned a huge barbecue at their house after the ceremony which gave us the chance to say goodbye to all the parents we have been bleacher sitting with for the past 4 years.
- But my absolute favorite moment of the ceremony was the graduation of the service dogs.
PS - While Peachie went through a beautiful and confident metamorphosis, I never really did. Today I am still painfully jealous of my big sister. But I’ve learned to live with it.