I can't believe it's you.
You look regal; majestic.
Amongst your peers,
and yet, you stand out in that crowd.
Quiet, unassuming and blooming
into the strong and determined woman
we quietly prayed you'd be.
Finally finding your way,
on the course to a dream.
We should have known.
Your sister worships you
for she knows, she'd be
less well off without your influence.
The games you played despite
your seven year age difference,
put you on the course
to take your spot on that stage.
You played school, the two of you.
She, the eager student.
You, the patient teacher.
You taught her an alphabet.
You showed her math skills.
She acquired reading skills at three,
thanks to your loving tutelage.
She learned what you taught,
as she continues to do today. I've never
seen her so proud as when you walked
across that platform to take
what was well earned and deserving.
You graduate today.
Now you are certified to do
what you've done all your life.
Teach. You've even taught me
a thing or two. Because of you,
I've learned that beauty and brains
are a lethal combination but
hold great power in the proper hands.
I've learned that my methods weren't as
maddening as I feared, giving you
a firm bit of ground on which
to make your stand. And I get
the sense that I'm not letting you go
out into the world unprepared to deal
with life, I'm giving you to the world
to give others the pleasure of your smile,
the warmth of your personality,
the courage of your convictions,
and the same advantage your sister had
in learning how to survive this life.
For no matter where you go, there you are!
*** Last night, I sat in awe of my daughter Melissa, the little girl/turned confident young woman who graduated with honors from the University of Buffalo with her Masters degree in Childhood Education. I've seen the power of what she could do, long before she decided to do what she was meant to: teach. I am the proud father. (If you couldn't already tell!)