24 seconds to cry in front of my daughter

I might as well go ahead and tell you.

Self-report.

Spill.

If I don’t, surely, you’ll hear about it from my daughter.

The same daughter who is about to become a senior in high school. The same daughter I thoroughly embarrassed this week.

It all started with an invitation I never saw coming.

“My senior class pictures are Tuesday, and I think you should come with me,” she casually threw out a few days before.

Apparently, this is quite the deal at her high school. It includes multiple outfit changes.

“One of the things is putting on a cap and gown,” she warned. “You’re totally going to cry. I know it.”

Who, me?

24 seconds.

That’s exactly how long it took me to lose it.

The thing is, it wasn’t even the cap and gown.

Rather, that silly black drape-y thing the girls wear for the yearbook photo.

As we had discussed, my daughter chose to wear her pearls.

But not just any pearls. They were pearls that belonged to her first mom, who passed away when she was 8.

So, there we are, Daughter and I in this echo-y girls bathroom of her high school.

She’s got the drapey thing on, sliding off her right shoulder, held on only with a clothes pin.

She picks her hair up so I can put on the pearls.

To adjust the strand to just the right length.

Well, it was a moment.

It was an honor helping my daughter take her senior class photos and holding the pearls of a woman I will never meet.

A woman with whom I share the most significant journey of my life — motherhood.

For a moment, that big moment, we were all connected.

The beautiful daughter.

Her two moms.

The strand of pearls.

So yeah, I lost it right there in the girls bathroom.

24 seconds.

Have you had that kind of moment, Dear Reader?

Daughter hasn’t. She was mortified.

“Already?” she shot me a look.

Same question I wanted to ask.

Already? We’re already here?

24 seconds.

That’s about as long as this motherhood ride seems to last.

I know that’s true for most parents.

It’s even shorter when you’re a mom like me — one with an asterisk.

“But wait, my turn didn’t start until you were 11,” I want to protest, knowing how greedy my request sounds.

My turn will soon exceed her first mom’s.

As for that cap and gown? I’m pleased and proud to share I held it together.

The tassel dangling in front of her nose, her petite arms poking out of the gown…

Thank goodness for a chance to exhale and count.

10 months.

Real cap and gown isn’t happening until then.

I have you for 10 more months, Kid.

I’m going to savor every moment for both of your moms and buy a ton of those photos.

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