To My Child on the Day You Graduated From Elementary School by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
As you processed into the gym with your classmates, I saw the tall and handsome 11-year-old you with your reserved smile, but I also saw the drooling, adorable 1-year-old you with your “Buddha belly.” As you stood with your fellow tweens, I saw you and your preschool friends dressed as superheroes. As you and your friends laughed, I heard your first giggle, the first time you said “Mama” and the first time you said “I love you.” As you sang your graduation song with your class, I heard you singing along with the "Shrek" soundtrack. As you walked across the stage, I saw you taking your first steps (hoping to get Dad’s hot dog!). As you celebrated with your friends, I saw our family and friends celebrating your baptism and your first birthday, and every milestone since.
You’ve grown and learned and challenged yourself and gained confidence, and so much has changed, and yet some things haven’t changed at all. I’m just as proud of you as I’ve ever been. I love you as fiercely as I ever have. And I still thank God for making me your Mama.