May 30, 2017

Here’s my big news: I’ve become the proud mother of a college graduate! And I’m also sort of speechless. Wow. What do I do now?

During these past four years. I watched Gabi explore her passions, purpose and power. It was hard for me to let her make her own choices (but I learned). She graduated with honors, too — all this, while working multiple part-time jobs AND getting in her fair share of partying.

Most importantly, my daughter found her people.

When Gabi was a sophomore, we co-blogged a popular post about how to choose a college. In it, we described why high schoolers need to find their people. I’m so glad she accomplished her mission.

Daughter graduates from college

A happy ceremony

My daughter’s Sunday outdoor commencement ceremony showed us exactly what her community looks like…

The Class of 2017, resplendent in their red caps and gowns, came down to us from a grassy hill. The African drummers played loud enough to reach every corner of the the sprawling, green lawn.

We heard speeches about scholarship, passionate learning and immigrant rights. The poet Claudia B. Rankine gave a commencement address about social justice and the value in “failing” — failing to meet standard definitions of success for the greater prize of changing the world. Go, Wesleyan!

Of course, I got weepy. But not for long as we headed for a post-ceremony reception. Everyone crowded around to meet, greet, talk and hug. My daughter’s friends and their families were busy connecting with our clan. Our contingent consisted of her dad and his family, my sister and niece and my longtime friend, who is Gabi’s godmother. It was fun.

Feeling grateful 

Before I go, I want to thank you all for sticking by me through the years. You’ve been here as I wrestled with parenting, being a daughter and finding community.

Your patience and support made me a better woman and mom. Thank you. Thanks for being part of my tribe! xo