Dear Boy One and Girl One,
Today is your last day of Elementary school. After 11:15am, you will officially be sixth grade students. Middle schoolers. Big kids.
Your school, thankfully, does not have a graduation ceremony. Not that it wouldn't be fun to see you all dressed up and receiving your "Bachelor of Fifth grade arts" or anything, but your mom, in case it's not become apparent to you after eleven years, is a bit of a sap. And my make-up looks really pretty today so I don't want to cry it off.
I know, I know. I can hear it now.
It's just fifth grade.
It is. But it's not.
It's also sleepless nights, before you were born, wondering if you would even live. It's sleepless nights during the first, few fragile days of your life, wondering if you would live. It's hearing a doctor say, "We don't know if she's blind" and "He'll never be normal". It's realizing that the one who the doctor wasn't sure about being blind has 20/20 vision and the one the doctor wasn't sure would ever be normal most certainly is NOT normal, but is abnormal in the most strange and beautiful ways.
It's seeing you struggle to keep up. It's seeing you fall.
Seeing you get back up. Again and again and again.
It's the knowledge that the day you were born, I almost lost my life. That I came really darn close to never knowing any of this at all. To you being raised by someone else, somewhere else. Never holding your tiny hands, never watching you run, never running alongside you.
It's how, somehow, you've become my cheerleaders. How all those words I said to you over the years, you repeat back to me; You can do it mom! I'll run beside you mom! You can go another mile! You sold your book! I'm so proud!
I don't dwell on the past. What happened, happened. I can't change it. I can't make you as strong as tall as the other boys in your class. I can't make you less shy as the other girls. I can't change who you are. I can't rewrite history.
And I suppose I really wouldn't want to. Not just because you are twelve pounds of awesome in a ten pound sack, but also because I would never change the experience of watching you grow up. The work was hard, but the rewards are great. The days were long, but the years have been short. So short.
Elementary school is nothing, I guess. To a lot of moms and dads it's no big shake.
To me? After seeing what you started as? It's a miracle.
I am so, so proud of you.
And when you graduate high school in a few years? They'll probably have to carry me out on a stretcher. Good Lord.
Love you and love you and love you,