Growing Up

My baby isn’t a baby anymore…
This morning I woke her up to start her last day in kindergarten.  She patiently waited while I curled her hair.  And she didn’t shed one tear or holler “ouch!” She put on her first pair of high heeled shoes ::gasp::  And for the last time, she put on her increasingly shortening uniform.
On the way to school she announced from the back seat “This is my best day ever! Graduation!”  And it was obvious that she understood the magnitude of the day.
I watched my baby march in a processional and sit with her graduating class.  She sang a song about “potentiality.”  And she scanned the audience to ensure that her guests had arrived to watch her receive her diploma.
On her way up to the podium, Mrs. Williams made one of the first public mispronunciations of LauraChioma Jones.  We’re sure there’ll be many more…  Then Chi’s mortar board began to slip off as she hugged Mrs. Kleman, her teacher, and began the walk toward the hand shake row of School Board members.  Pastor-elect During attempted to put the cap back on, but as she accepted her diploma from Pastor Jones, SBCA principal, it slid off again.  Chi took it in stride, rolling her eyes, blowing a puff of air at her curls, swooping down to pick up the cap and then nonchalantly smiling for my camera before she decended the steps of the stage and returned to her seat.
My baby, the graduate.   
And how very grown up she is.  A big girl, she insists.  Soon to be a big sister (when summer’s over, she tells everyone).  And now a soon-to-be First Grade student in public school.  She’s 5 years and 6 months old and she’s accomplished so much.
Mommy’s proud.  Mommy’s overwhelmed.  Mommy’s seeing first hand just how much promise and hope one little girl can bring to her family. 
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