Well, we did it. 

I can say “we” because y’all know this day is a family affair.

This milestone – wow.

It is the toughest paradox of love: letting go and holding on.

I’m so proud of this girl. She has worked really really hard. She has hiked and sang and ran and studied. She has cried and laughed and prayed and LEARNED SO MUCH. She stumbled and fell and got up many many times. She sailed the ocean blue, was elected school leader, played Belle and freaked out over finance class (the drama runs deep :). I’m so grateful for it all.

I give thanks for a tremendous education, an amazing advisor who not only advised, but fed and loved her. I give thanks to the many fabulous teachers that not only noticed, but SAW her. Cope was born a “faculty brat,” raised on campus with 12 dorm boys until we moved off campus, and has always aspired to walk across this specific stage. The “bittersweet” cliche? Totally true.

This girl made me a mother and I’m in awe of her. There’s the other paradox: the child becomes the teacher.

Brene Brown says the etymology of the word “paradox” captures the heart of what it means to love. Greek origins joins the two words para (contrary to ) and dokein (opinion.) The Latin paradoxum means “seemingly absurd but true.”

Parenting captures that exactly – seemingly absurd but true!

It is seemingly absurd that we are here…but it’s also true. It’s seemingly absurd that my “baby girl” Cope (who was just wearing a onesie!) will not live under our shared roof this fall.

It’s seemingly absurd that I will survive this. But alas, that is true, too.

This day of graduation is a paradox of joy and grief. There is absolutely no control over either one. And I know very well that in life there is no joy without sadness. There is no sadness without experiencing that great joy.

Now excuse me while I go find my tissues. This is a happy day 🙂




  • Carrie Rubin says:

    Congrats to your daughter! I feel your bittersweet angst. My oldest graduated two years ago, and my youngest will be a senior in the fall. The house will be so quiet without them one day, but I understand this is the circle of life, and I’m so proud of them both. Best wishes to you all!

  • Elaine Duncan says:

    So proud of Cope! I miss her every Sunday. She will do great things.

  • Ginny Bartoldus says:

    Well done! Well done!
    There was never a moment of doubt within me of your ” amazingness” as a Mom! We blink and they are in their way out into the world! So very proud of you Amy. You and the husband did a fine job! Cope is a spectacular young woman.

    Warm wishes and much love!

    Benny B’s Mom!

  • Oh my, now I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about my little ones leaving the house! You’ve written Cope a lovely tribute with this post, Amy 🙂

  • Laurel Brown says:

    Congratulations! You have a very special girl!

  • Laurel Brown says:

    Congtaulations! You have a Very Special Girl!

  • Dana says:

    It is a happy day – congratulations to Cope and to you! I can’t believe my oldest’s freshman year of college is over; it goes by in a flash, as I know you know.

  • Kate says:

    Congrats to Cope and to you too–graduation is a milestone for all involved. My oldest is graduating 8th grade and then it’s on to high school. Bittersweet, yes, and I get particularly maudlin over these kinds of transitions. But summer will be busy, and that always helps!

  • Julia Tomiak says:

    And now I must go find tissues… Thank you for this. It will help me be ready next May.

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