I used to think that High School graduation should be automatic. You show up, do the best you can, and in the end they give you the diploma. If you really apply yourself, they will also give you money to continue your education.
Boy was I wrong.
This weekend Puff had her last day of public school ever. She IS going to graduate with her class! Yea! It took pure determination for her to buckle down at the end, but when it came to crunch time she got it done! AND she made it out of there with even more important things than the diploma.
She made it with her self esteem. You remember the worst bullies in High School? The ones that would pretend like they were your friends and then trash talk you when you weren't around! She even made it through that. And I think it made her a nicer person. Lots of people think she is too nice.... she must be fake. But she's not. She really does like pretty much everyone and tries to say good things about them.
She made it with a set of values. You know, we teach our kids not to go to R rated movies, because they don't promote values we want them to see. What we forget is that they LIVE in an R rated (or worse) movie every single time they walk through the doors of the school. It takes GUTS and determination to hold to your values when you are immersed in that every day.
She made it with a sense of who she is in the big picture. I'm not saying it's complete - heck, who's big picture IS? But I think she knows who she really is and where she came from.
Things I wish for her:
To really know that it's great and enough to just be her. She doesn't need friends or a boyfriend to make her happy or to "complete" her. She needs to make herself more complete and happy by exploring her own talents and learning more about who she is.
To really know that having the courage to follow the Holy Ghost is the best talent you can ever develop. - Even when you can't see around the bend in the road, He can and he only wants the best thing for you.
To know that getting more education can only help you in your life. You will never regret having more knowledge. It will help your life in everything from negotiating with people, to raising your children, to being an interesting date.
TO know that wherever you go and whatever you do, you can not make your earthly parents OR your Heavenly Parents stop loving you. You can do things that will make them disappointed, angry, and even break their hearts. But you will always be loved.