KOH2RVA: Day 245

2013-05-11 12.18.51I confess: I did not bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia, yesterday. Instead I drove to Fredericksburg for my daughter Catherine’s college graduation. But there was something heavenly about it all the same. I found myself full of emotion, and every time a family cheered for a son or daughter whose name was called a lump would rise in my throat. I thought about how many hours were represented by that moment: hours of caring for those children, watching them grow, teaching them to tie their shoes, taking them to school for the first time, and now this—this culminating moment when all those hours were rewarded by the calling of a name.

When Catherine’s name was called I stood and cheered as awkwardly as all the other parents. I wish I had done it better, more enthusiastically. I wish I had brought an air horn. I wish she could have heard my voice above all those other voices and known just how proud of her I was in that moment and yet, somehow, no prouder than I have been in every moment of her life.

No, I didn’t bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond yesterday. I hope somebody did. I was busy in Fredericksburg, holding on to the heaven I have, and storing up for those times when heaven seems far, far away.

I love you, Catherine.

Ellie’s Home!

My daughter Ellie came home for a surprise visit this weekend (that’s her on the left in the picture above).  It’s a long bus ride from New York to Richmond, but if you get on the bus in Chinatown at 10:30 p.m. you can sometimes get your parents to come pick you up at Parham Road at 4:00 in the morning.

It was just about this time last year that she got on a train to New York with a couple of suitcases and no idea where she was going to spend the night.  Now she is living in an apartment in Manhattan and working at Lonny, an online interior design magazine, where she’s been since the beginning.  She started as an intern, quickly moved up to editorial assistant, and now has a major role in the production of the bi-monthly magazine, blogs on the Lonny site, and makes an occasional guest appearance at Etsy (which everybody seems to know about but me).

I’m proud of Ellie.  It’s no secret.  Not only for what she’s done but for who she is.  Some people say pride is a sin, but I think there’s a special exception for parents, don’t you?