Thursday, June 15, 2006
Little Jennie (“little”…she’s a gorgeous 6 feet tall) graduated from high school. That’s why I went to California.
Sitting in the seats at the graduation ceremony, I can tell you it was a surreal experience to be back in a high school and feel that unwieldy, unfettered, unpolished, teenage excitement. It made me remember my own graduation. Right before Hitler invaded Poland. It was also nice to look down the row and see the faces of each member of my family seated next to me. As I calculate, it’s been over two years since we were all in one place at the same time. We all came from our various earth perches to witness our baby girl’s rite of passage. It was a really great feeling.
Jennie was born when I was 13 years old, and therefore she was mine. My baby. As she grew into childhood, I got more self-absorbed (hello adolescence, boyfriends, weekly soap operas). When she grew too big to sit sweetly on my hip, I suddenly had no time for her. That’s just the awful, shameful truth of it. Then I went to college, then I moved away, and I’ve pretty much been away ever since. And all the while, this girl kept on growing. Totally without permission by the way.
[tried to post photo of beautiful Jen here, but Blogger is cranky today.]
Jennie is a beautiful young woman now. She’s incredibly quick-witted, insightful, and deeply loyal to her family. She is the anchor that keeps us all together. She loves it when everyone is home. Jennie seldom asks anything of us, but when she asked me to come to her graduation, I knew instantly by the tone in her voice that it was something she really truly wanted. She knew, as I did not, how very important it would be to come, not just for her, but for me as well. She was right. Sitting in that row, hearing her name called, and cheering like drunken idiots right afterward, I realized she was right to insist that I have this moment in time with my family. Again, as always, Jennie was loyal to her sister in giving her a fantastic life memory. Thanks, Jen.
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