My girl graduated this past week, and as I sat amidst our friends and family, watching her freak out a little bit during the ceremony, I couldn’t help but think about how we got there. We’ve both grown, and neither of us has done it alone.
And so, thank you…
To the parents who taught me patience, compassion, empathy, selflessness, generosity, and that it is entirely possible to love a child who is not your own as if they are.
To the sisters, the ones I started out with and the ones I ended up with.
To the best friend who has shared her couch, her wine, her daughter, and so much of her time.
To the coworkers who have been there and done that, and done so gracefully.
To the grandmother who loved me without even meeting me, simply because Heather did.
To the longtime friends who have never stopped telling me they are proud and amazed.
To the people in my life who have accepted Heather into theirs “just because”.
Thank you. From the bottom and top and sides of my heart. Thank you…
…for coming to babysit when I didn’t think I had another minute of sanity in me.
…for letting me cry on your shoulders.
…for fighting for me and with me.
…for not caring that time Heather ruined Thanksgiving dinner.
…for the dance parties in the kitchen and the “I’ll be home in 10, go out somewhere!” texts.
…for dealing with me at my worst, and loving me the most.
…for knowing when I need words, and when I don’t.
…for drying my tears, and sitting with me in silence.
…for encouraging words, laughter, advice.
…for stepping in and stepping up when I didn’t think I’d make it.
…for checking in on me when things are tough, and being excited when things are status quo.
…for understanding when plans don’t happen, and for being available when they do.
…for thinking of logistical things, while I’m busy being emotional.
…for accepting me as part of your family, simply because I’m part of Heather’s.
…for including me in your lives, even when I’m a miserable human being.
…for telling me hard truths with soft words.
Most of all, thank you for opening your hearts to a little girl 10 years ago, and dealing with all that entails right along with me.
She has come so far, partly because of me, and that is ALL because of you guys. We couldn’t have made it this far without you. I know it hasn’t always been easy, and it hasn’t always been pretty, but thanks for loving us.
And finally, a sincere apology:
To the 1:1’s who have had to deal with me first thing in the morning. I’ve never been good at mornings, and I’m sorry that I couldn’t pull it together for your sakes. Thanks for sticking it out!