Sunday, June 11, 2006

Senior Tribute tonight

There will be a dessert at church on Sunday, June 11. One parent can say a few words. My Handsome Prince and I have not talked about who will be the one, so whether I am the one to speak or not, I can post a few words.

A chance to tell Emma how wonderful I think she is. I'm pretty sure she already knows. I have agonized over this and I know I'll leave out the Most Important Thing. That thing that has stayed with me for years and can't think of to save my life.

She leaves me breathless. There is a scene in "Billy Elliott" when Billy is an adult with The Royal Ballet in a production of Swan Lake. He leaps out onto the stage and the camera cuts to the father. At the sight of his son, he catches his breath. That is me, every time Emma performs. I am amazed, proud, terrified, and moved every time I hear her voice. She has never hesitated to share her gift with Christian Temple, Lansdowne, and, of course, North Carroll High School. She has decided to major in Music Therapy. I think that says it all, how she views her voice and her talent, as something that should be given to others.

Emma is my first born. She was my buddy as a young toddler. She would attend quilt shows with me, pointing out her favorites. We would walk to the post office every morning to get our mail. We would wait out on the stoop for Patrick to get home. She would shout "Daddy, where are you?"! We went to storytime together, visiting an older friend, camping with families with no children. She would ride on the back of my bike for many miles or sit by the side when I taught an aerobic class. Now the tables have turned. I am the tag-a-long. I am honored every time she asks me to attend a talent show with her or to accompany a trip or attend Graduation parties with her. Even shopping, which is not my favorite. How can I say no? I can't. She always seems pleased to see me at school and doesn't hesitate to link her arm with mine or offer a kiss in a crowded hallway.

My daughter is beautiful, inside and out. I am awed at the person she has become. She has a smile for everyone, a kind word. She is a peacemaker. She does not tolerate stupidity among her peers, speaks her mind, she is confident in her faith and will defend it. She is a loving and kind sister and does nothing but sing Audrey's praises to her friends. She told Audrey last week that she was going to call her everyday when she goes off to school. I believe her. She is self assured. She is graceful. She has poise. She is brave, though not afraid. She recognizes her fears and trys to get beyond them. She is impatient and has learned to count to ten before speaking (mostly), although she still changes the radio station constantly which drives me bananas. She has her morals and is not afraid to admit them to her peers even if it means not being invited to a party or gathering. She does what she feels she is supposed to do, sometimes at her own expense. Emma needs to remember to be kind to herself, too, for she leaves that for last.

When she was little, she told me she wanted to live with me forever. At that time, I thought "Oh please, no!" Now, I feel like the time to leave has come too soon.

She has taught me to be a parent, a friend, a sister, a Christian, but most of all to strive to be a better person. She is my biggest fan. She can always make me feel beautiful or confident. She is my inspiration at achieving my goals, whether they are physical, emotional, or spiritual.

She has taught me flexibility. She has taught me to find humor in difficult situations. Such as the time I was fed up with her smart mouth...She has taught me about pain and helplessness in witnessing her pain and helplessness. She has taught me about forgiveness. She is not one to hold a grudge. She has taught me about unconditional love. We had a fuss one time, and I was fuming when she left for school. When she got home, she was angry with me. She said "Don't you ever let me leave without telling me you love me!" She was only about 8. How right she was. No matter how upset she gets with us, she always manages to say she loves us and is there with a kiss. As a parent, I try to be an example, but just as often, she is the example to me. Just as I have provided too many photos and programs and report cards and more, I could provide you with stories about Emma and how she has taught me these things and more. So, if you are interested, ask. I never tire talking about my girls. I even ragg on them sometimes but more often praise them. A coworker remarked to another "Dana thinks her kids are all that!" I thought, yes I do!
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Shelina said...

Oh this is such a sweet tribute. I've been wanting to write something about my daughter, and this is just so inspiring. Sometimes I just forget to tell her, in between the "don't forget to put your clothes away" how I feel.

Jeanne said...

Congratulations to a Proud Mama!