What I CAN’T Say…

Today was an amazing day. I can’t share most of the important details, as they involve others who aren’t a part of my life as VJ Summers. (GASP! It’s a pen name!)

What I can say is that today some of the finest, and some of the NOT SO finest young men and women I know graduated. One of those young women was MY young woman. Eighteen years and five months of time, love, blood (sometimes literally), sweat (usually literally) and tears (infrequent, as I’m a stoic bitch), culminating in this one day when I got to see her beautiful, beaming face as she officially entered “the real world.”

I sat in the car, parked facing outward and RIGHT by the exit, thank you very much, texting one of my students, who was going to be walking the stage at the same time as my baby. And as I texted, I found myself all teared up. WTF? I’m not the cryer in the family! My school baby sent me a “I wish you were here” text with a picture of herself in her cap and gown (she is, by the way, the young woman who inspired my 4/21 post “The Coolest Thing Evah”), looking absolutely transcendent. Yep, more tears. And my nose started to run a little bit.

By the time I entered the venue for MY baby’s graduation, and sat myself down by Mom and Step-Dad, I thought I had it under control. No tears. Camera ready.

Then the processional began.

And so did the waterworks.

Like, a LOT.

I cried through the processional. When I saw my girl walk down the aisle, I may even have given a little sob. Maybe. The speeches, while relatively short, were dry enough for me to regain my composure. Mom, who IS a cryer, refused to look at me, lest I set her off. Snort. Then, they called her up to receive her diploma. I actually didn’t cry at that point. I was too busy trying to take pictures to get emotional. But when she made her way back to her seat, and looked up at us and blew us a kiss? Well, you can imagine. And when I made the “I Love You” sign to her, and she made it back. There might, maybe, POSSIBLY have been another sob. Or two.

I read a poem when she was a baby, one written by an adoptive mother for her child. She told her child that he hadn’t grown UNDER her heart, but IN it. I’ve always felt that was the perfect description for my feelings for my kid. Sometimes the love in my heart gets so big there isn’t enough room for it, and it leaks out my eyes. Those aren’t tears. Those are pure, distilled love.

As I write this? Yeah. More tears. I have been the fortunate recipient of the love of an extraordinary child (two, actually – I got to love her big brother, too). And, in spite of the hell my day job has become, there are points of light in the darkness. Stars that will blaze on long after they move out of my orbit.

I’m a lucky woman.

So, to every person out there who loves a child who graduated today, congratulations. Have a virtual Kleenex. And to the Class of 2012 – mine and others’ – congratulations. You have the power in your hands to change our world. Please use it wisely.