With my daughter’s graduation, I had a different reaction. I was transformed watching my daughter and her friends grow up in what felt like 30 seconds. When she was born, people said, “Enjoy every moment, it goes so fast.” And I nodded back then as if I understood what they were saying. As I stood there today, I couldn’t believe how fast it has really gone. At eleven years old, my daughter and her friends are all on the bridge to becoming teenagers and I feel their excitement, anxiety and curiosity.
What was also evident today was the joy and sweet spirit in their eyes. My daughter and most of her friends have been together since pre-school and their friendships deepened over the years. As my daughter and I talk about her friends, each friendship is as special as the friend. One is great for laughs, one is a confidant, one is really good in school, all love the same music and all have begun to notice the boys.
One of the most unique and wonderful qualities I have seen in these friendships, is the kindness and compassion that these girls have shown each other. Over the past few years, a couple of her friends have gone through some difficult times and they all banded together to help each other deal with sadness, anxiety or fear. They asserted themselves and stood up to a bully, they supported each other during performances and helped each other with school work.
I want to hold onto this day for years to come and while I know the memory will fade, I hope that when my daughter and I reflect on it in the future, we can recall the true beauty and spirit in her childhood friendships.