The traffic was unbearable! At least I am sure that is what others were thinking. As for me I found the traffic situation to be the least of the worries that evening. Having lived in a large city for the last 6 years I find myself quite numb to things such as traffic. I mean I see it every single day of my life now.
The ceremony was being held at the local football field which meant with a class of almost 700 students taking the walk into their new lives the audience would definitely be sitting for a while. In fact a while really meant over 3 hours!
The evening began with the high school band,
and the ROTC presenting the colors,
followed by the National Anthem.
Glancing over the student body the realization of what my baby girl was about to do suddenly punched me in the gut causing a rush of pure panic to race through my veins.
How did that beautiful baby I cradled in my arms so tenderly get to this point in her life? How did that little lollipop eating fiend grow up so quickly? How did my daughter who was just yesterday learning to swim become this fantastically beautiful young woman about to embark on her future?
One could really say we had a long road. So many of the odds were against this day but tearfully and with more pride than I ever thought one person could have I sat nervously on the edge of my seat waiting for her name to be called.
What will I say, what will I do when the announcer calls her name? I didn't promise her that I wouldn't embarrass her. In fact I think that she was so nervous herself that she forgot to give me the traditional mom do NOT embarrass me when I am on stage talk.
I quietly glanced around and realized that I was not the only one with the stark white facial expression of fear/pride. Hundreds of parents filled the stands waiting to see their children walk across the stage and begin the next phase of their lives.
As the moment drew closer I closed my eyes and connected with my baby girl down on that field. I felt her fear and excitement welling up inside her. I quickly pulled out the bottles of bubbles I had brought and passed them out instructing everyone to blow lots of bubbles so they would float down on the field. I knew if my baby girl saw the bubbles it would put a smile on her face and give her some peace knowing that she was not alone. I am here on the sidelines watching with tearful joy at her newest accomplishment.
We all knew the moment was near. My heart was pounding. Megan was in position to capture the best pictures and announce that her big sister aka her idol was about to reach the stage.
"She's the next one in line!" shouts Megan.
Yes, yes! There is my baby girl! The group of our friends and family that had gathered to watch this event leaped to their feet and time stood still. Yes, it literally stood still. I don't know how long it all actually took, my intelligence says it was only seconds but to my heart and soul it was forever!
The stages of her life passed before my eyes, her birth, her first steps, graduating kindergarten, learning to ride a bike, her first choir solo, and more. All memories were neatly placed in their own file folder in my mind to see that she is graduating!
Our friends and family went wild! Screams could be heard above all the hundreds of chatting people and above it all there was one lone scream from what most certainly must have been a wild woman.
There's my Nay Nay!
Oh that screaming mad woman was me! No matter how big or old or far away you may be Ashley Renee MacArthur you will ALWAYS be my Nay Nay!