On a sticky, hot day in June, I excitedly got out of my car on the fourth floor of the parking garage at the Raleigh Convention Center. Our daughter was graduating high school that day, and I was a jumble of emotions. At that moment though, I was full of anticipation, looking forward to the ceremony that is the culmination of fifteen years of schooling.
As I took my first few steps, I heard a snap and almost tripped. The strap on my (very cute) denim wedges had broken, and because it was the kind that wrapped around your ankle before being buckled, was extra long. So here I was, heading to my daughter's graduation ceremony, walking from the parking garage, around the block and to the convention center with about fourteen inches of my sandal strap flapping behind me. "That's okay", I thought to myself, "nothing is going to bring me down today".
The ceremony took place like clockwork. I laughed, I cried. My heart swelled with pride for my daughter, and her friends, all of whom we are going to miss as well as they scatter across the country for college come fall. We were a part of the mob of parents and families who went behind the stage afterwards to get 'one last picture' with friends and classmates, and of course with the family. Since we had taken two separate cars, my husband drove his mother and our younger daughter back home. Our graduate(!) and I decided to walk the few blocks down to her place of employment - which happens to be my favorite patisserie - so she could go see her work 'family'. I had also ordered her a cake as a surprise. As we exited the building to begin walking, she said, "Mum, your dress! What happened?" Turns out someone had apparently stepped on my long, summery (also very cute) dress, and it had ripped almost up to my knees in the back.
So, here I was, trailing the strap from my sandal, as well as a torn dress, limping three blocks on a hot summer afternoon with my confident cap-and-gowned daughter by my side. If that isn't an apt representation of how it feels to bring your child through high school and into adulthood, I don't know what is.
So I asked for a pair of scissors to cut the straps off both my sandals, and we tossed them in the trash along with any bad memories of high school. I found a safety pin so my dress didn't trail behind me anymore, and we walked out of the patisserie with the most delicious, decadent chocolate mousse cake.
Here's to every high school and college class of 2018 - I wish for you scissors, safety pins and chocolate cake in your journeys ahead. Congratulations!
Wife, mother, baker, jam maker, hug dispenser, reader.