I may have stood outside of the elementary playground on your first day of Kindergarten and spied on the 100 kids at recess trying to spot you in your lime green top and little cropped pants and pony tail. I was so incredibly worried they would lose you or someone would hurt you or forget you outside at recess. In hindsight Im lucky I didn’t get arrested for stalking children. But I found you. You were playing with the other kids like it was the most natural thing in the world. It was a relief. My Dad had died one week earlier and I think I needed to SEE you. KNOW you were ok.
When I would drop you off at middle school in Texas Id watch you walk all the way into the building to make sure no one kidnapped you. It was silly. I often caused a traffic jam, pretending my car wouldn’t work or that I was looking for someone so people wouldn’t think I was crazy. But I needed to SEE you go into the school.
When we moved to Colorado I cried the day I dropped you and your brother off at school for the first time. I worried we’d ruined your life moving you guys across country at such a pivotal age. Turns out it was the best thing we ever did. I SEE that now.
When you tried out for cheerleader at the end of your 8th grade year for Palmer Ridge I could’ve gone home and waited the several hours for you to call me back. I didn’t. I drove around town, got a drink at Starbucks and waited in the parking lot. FOREVER. I couldn’t bear to think of you coming out to find me, being all upset if you didn’t make the team and me not being there. You came out. And I SAW you. And the next 4 years became amazing.
When there was an opening for Assistant Cheer Coach I knew it would be a way for me to be close to you. The hours at practice, traveling, games, cold, and very little pay meant nothing because I got to SEE you. Thank you for being ok with that.
In 32 days I move you to college. Three hours away. Not a lifetime. Not as far as some will take their kids. But enough. You will go to class the first day and I wont be there to SEE you. I wont know if anyone is mean to you. I wont know if you get lost. I wont know. I wont SEE. And its a strange mixture of really sad and really happy. A parent’s job is to protect, teach, love. I’ve done ok at these. I will cry when I move you in. I wont apologize for that. You’ll understand it one day. But on a lonely night in your dorm room when your roommate is out and you feel sad or left out or broken hearted or scared or anxious….KNOW that I can SEE you. I may not physically be there. But I am ALWAYS with you. A mother’s love works that way. You will find happiness, joy, new friends, knowledge, jobs, boyfriends, parties, bad decisions, great decision, cool professors, shitty food, and a million other amazing, wonderful, scary things in college. You will find YOU. And I couldn’t be more proud. No matter how tall or old you get- you will always ALWAYS be that little girl in that lime green shirt I spied on that day many years ago. Love you, Maddie. Take the world.
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…