My four-year-old daughter, Hannah, graduated from preschool this week. It hit me at her commencement how symbolic it all was. Her commencement, her beginning, her start. She is truly just starting out in her young life. She has so much ahead of her, so much to look forward to. She has a clean slate. If I were to give a commencement address to my young daughter, this is how it would go:
Hannah, you have an unmatched zest for life. You wake up each day ready to take on the world. Don’t ever lose that. Keep looking at life as the huge adventure that it is. Seeing things through your eyes helps me to appreciate this beautiful world. You truly see all that is good in this world. Too young to be jaded by negative experiences, you see hope, possibility, and positivity in every situation. Don’t lose that. Don’t let others’ view of the world change your attitude or outlook. Hold on to that positivity. The world definitely needs it.
Hannah, you are so, so stubborn. As frustrating as it is for me right now, as your mother, don’t ever change. You don’t always follow the rules. You constantly question everything I tell you. You think that you can do anything you want, never wanting to accept no for an answer. You are such a strong little girl. You were a force to be reckon with since the day you were born. We even nicknamed you Hurricane Hannah. Yes, you drive me crazy, always wanting to do it your way. But, hold on to that. You are going to do amazing things with your life. The most successful people usually do things their way, not always following the rules. Be true to who you are. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and fight for what you believe in, as you do now. Your stubbornness, your unwillingness to give up will help you to grow into a strong, confident young woman who won’t let anyone push her around.
You have an endless curiosity, always wanting to know why, why, why. You talk nonstop, trying to soak up every little piece of information that comes your way. It’s exhausting. But, keep doing that. Keep asking why. Keep learning. Keep dreaming. Keep trying to figure everything out. I know that you will never just accept the answers to your questions. I know that you must keep digging. You must keep searching for a deeper meaning. Hannah, I know that you are never satisfied with the answers we give you. You have a incredible thirst for knowledge that is nearly impossible to quench. Yet, keep asking questions. Keep wanting more. I hope that you will always ask questions and want to know more.
Hannah, you are so beautiful. Your eyes light up the room and you have an amazing smile. But your true beauty comes from within. You have a beautiful, sensitive soul. You love others with all of your heart. You are so sweet, so caring. Hold on to that too. Hold on to your belief that love can make the world go round. Hold on to your belief that you can love another with all of your heart, with all of your being.
So, Hannah, as you progress in life keep dreaming, keep pushing, keep wondering, keep being you. I really believe that you are going to change the world, somehow…some way. You are at a perfect age. You have so much to experience, so much to learn. But, I also know that you will teach others a thing or two about how to live, to dream, to love, to succeed. You have an unbelievable energy about you. You never stop, from the time you wake up in the morning until you literally crash into bed at night. You will push boundaries, push yourself, push others to achieve their personal best. You will amaze and be amazing. You will take this world by storm. I just hope it’s ready for you.