The word commencement means "to begin; to initiate; to have or make a beginning." I didn't know that until the day I graduated from high school. I always thought it meant to end. I taught you this afternoon that indeed it means the beginning, and that it describes you and I, Chloe B. We are at the very beginning of what I pray will be a wonderful journey together.
When I heard you cry for the first time six years ago and Daddy looked at me wide eyed and whispered "We've got a girl!," I was so surprised I didn't believe it until I held you myself. I was so certain you were going to be a boy that I hung blue wooden letters spelling "SAM" over your changing table the week before you were born. Nana gleefully exchanged those for a pink C, H, L, O, and E after we brought you home... she had been secretly hoping for a girl all along, and so had I.
The surprises God has delighted me with since you were born just keep coming. I was surprised when your perfect blond ringlets came in. Ringlets! Where did those come from?! I was surprised with how quiet and smart you were, with how well you talked at such a young age. Daddy nicknamed you "the little linguist" because even as a baby, you talked like an adult. I was surprised with how much you've come out of your shell this past year. Not long ago you were very timid in front of all but our closest family and friends, and you have blossomed on your own into such a delightful little girl. Now even strangers get to see the real Chloe, as you dance and twirl and laugh and sing through your days. I'm surprised with how quickly the last six years have passed, with how tall you've grown, with how sweetly you see the world. I'm surprised that today I find myself the teacher... I learn so much from you.
This afternoon, after a wonderful commencement celebration with five other homeschooling families, we sat together and read about a little boy who learns to read as he wanders around a museum full of beautiful paintings. We sang songs and did math and practiced handwriting and had some leftover coffee cake from the morning's party. When you needed a little break, we took one. There was no bell that had to ring first. No hard and fast rules that said you had to do one thing before you could do another. You really wanted to paint, so we pulled your easel over to the window with the sunlight streaming in and I watched you paint a ladybug and thanked God that He, in His endless grace, surprised me yet again by giving me that moment.
Congratulations on your first day of kindergarten sweet girl. You are a gift, and I am so very blessed to be your mommy.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."