Tonight, Alyson Grace Jordan will graduate from high school. Friends and family are coming from all over to enjoy this time with us and support her.
Ally has approached high school with a championship attitude. Yes, she has checked off the resume boxes: Student Body President, Captain of the Cross Country Team, Multi-Year Letterman, Valedictorian, etc. But more importantly, she has also grown tremendously as a young woman. She is a better friend. She has reached into the lives of those around her to minister to them and help them better understand God and His love for them. She has grown more passionate about her relationship with Christ. These are the things that I am even more proud of.
Some accomplishments are very nice and rewarding; others are eternal. I’m glad she has such a wonderful mix of both. And so, we are excited to see where God takes her next and how she continues to grow.
Meanwhile, we are in full-swing planning mode for the transition coming this Fall when our little girl moves out on her own into a brave new world. She’s ready, and she’s prepared. I am confident she will shine a light wherever she is, and I am immensely proud of her. She will be a success, and I know college (go Heels!) will be a wonderful time for her. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit part of me wants to just wrap my arms around her and keep her here with us.
It was only this past week I truly began to realize this Fall would be the first time since we had the kids that our family would go an extended period of time where we would not all be under one roof. That thought hit me pretty hard. It’s a significant shift in our lives as well as Ally’s life.
The house will be more quiet. And it will be less fun.
I remember the moment Ally was born. She changed our world in that second. We understood the miracle of life in a whole new way. And we were changed for the better.
I remember holding her while she slept as an infant. That warm feeling with which only a baby can fill your soul.
I remember when she first began to walk, and that her first word was “light.” How funny when a little while later, Eric’s first word was also “light.” Why? I don’t know. I don’t think we talked that much about lights. But I sure am glad they both radiate the light of Christ.
I remember a strong willed and ultra-competitive young girl who couldn’t stand to lose at anything. The words “Goosey Loosey” still invoke trauma, I think. Feel free to ask her why.
I remember the days spent playing with – and organizing – a herd of plastic dinosaurs.
I remember playgroup and first friends.
I remember the time I told her to not walk around the corner where I couldn’t see her; so, being the literalist that she was at 2, she dropped to her knees and crawled around the corner.
I remember that Grandma and Nana couldn’t get enough of her. I so wish Nana was here to see her now; she would be so proud. A child can never be loved too much, but Grandma and Nana both did their best to test that theory, and they both radiated a special love that I think only a grandmother can do with their only granddaughter. Grandma still tries to love enough for two grandmothers now, I think.
I remember the time Maggie called me at work when Ally was 4 and said, “I just lost my first argument with your daughter; I need you to talk to her.” Like me, Ally would sometimes argue with a wall until the wall crumbled into submission. It can be both a gift and a curse.
I remember a child that was prone to random attacks of gravity; she could fall walking on a flat surface. Yet she excelled in her first ski lessons. Go figure.
I remember a child who so loved being home schooled that she argued vehemently with me when I suggested we consider public or private school for high school. But I remember a young lady who then chose to attend GRACE and embraced the school and all it offered.
I remember when Ally began to confide in Maggie more as an adult than as a child and how this was a neat change to watch in their relationship.
I remember late night battles when the desire to spread wings clashed with desire to protect. But I remember so many wonderful conversations from those times and believe we all learned a little better how to love and respect each other.
I remember learning that parents need to grow up, too. We can’t put our kids in protective bubbles. We have to learn to let them experience life, and then we have to learn how to be there to cheer them on through the hard stuff.
I remember so much more. Above all, I remember a precious, beautiful, radiant young girl, who has grown into an even more amazing young woman.
Ally, you will always have my heart. I love and treasure you more than words can express. And I am proud of your character and who you are as a person, even moreso than I am proud of your accomplishments. Keep growing, and keep your eyes and heart fixed on Christ.
I love you, honey.
As we say at the end of every church service, you are sent.