I watched you today as you walked away…. out of the halls of your high school after graduation, and all to soon, I’ll watch as you walk out of this protected home and into your own new life. I have watched for a very long time, my baby girl, as I tried to teach you and hold you and guide you through the first part of this journey. You are part me, and very much your own person. You have grown into a beautiful young woman, with a verdant jungle of imagination and talent that I could never dream of owning. You have grown a heart of pure kindness and love that I adore and wish the whole world could see.
I will watch as you conduct the busiest summer of your life, preparing for life-long trips and memories you are packing away in your heart just before you pack your belongings for college to venture into this brave new world. You are a joy and my heart fills with pride at who you have become.
My second born, my baby, my daughter, I wished only the best for you and wondered how you would be in life — how differently or similarly you would take in the world than I or your brother did. I have watched you as a stubborn toddler, a histrionic pre-teen, a wise-beyond -our-years mid-teen and finally, and beautifully-made young woman.
Your independence and your thoughtfulness take my breath away one minute, while your need for my attention the next are adorable. Your wit and unique perspective on life are endlessly entertaining and you are a wonder; bringing life into this house like no other.
I will miss that — all of it. I dread the day when I pass by your room and you are no longer in it. But I will watch with the same sense of pride and joy — and bittersweet pang that time has passed all too quickly — when you pass through the halls of your new adventure.
I love you, Madison Tolley. Please carry this with you always, as you tackle the world with every considerable talent God has given you.