All too soon-but prepared nonetheless

My world stopped for a second when you rounded the corner of that stadium last week. In the hustle and bustle of moving home from Meredith, starting summer school, and writing 200 thank you notes, you took the back seat as you frequently do. Never complaining, always allowing me to “do my thing” as you do yours. I know many people must relate- it’s easy to get caught up in graduation announcements, parties, and ordering a cap and gown that you forget that an actual graduation is going to take place. It didn’t hit me until about 3 hours before it started. I was sitting in 90 degree weather saving seats for the blessed event. In typical Haley fashion, I was the first person other than the graduates to arrive. I marked my territory as sisters are often so good at and I couldn’t help but stop to have what I refer to as “one of my moments.” All too soon, you grew into a remarkable young man. I have fond memories of what my mother would call “bossing you around.” When we were younger, Charlie copied everything I did. He sat when I sat, stood when I stood, spoke when I nodded and then…. he grew a few feet. He towers above me and ironically, is now my role model. Being your sister has been such a joy. It is hard for me to let go- and even harder for me to share you with the world. I still see that little boy that looked at me as if I was the queen of the universe. No matter how mad I have made him, he has always treated me with love and respect in return. His future is bright because of his dedication to ensuring a job well done and his genuine compassion for others. He is like my Daddy- a hard worker. He began his job yesterday. I cannot help but beam with absolute pride. He has walked through many challenges with a smile on his face and joy in his steps. He sees the best in everyone and never meets a stranger. That sweet baby doll little brother grew quickly before my eyes and is off to take on the world. This realization was tough and my mascara wasn’t a good match but fewer times have I been prouder to sit outside in 90 degree weather and save seats with a table cloth. I have no doubts of his future success- and no doubt that I’ll always be the girl he prioritizes before anyone else (other than Mom- he’s definitely her favorite). Congratulations to my baby- best of my love.

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