Pomp and Soccer Pants

My hands shook and a cold sweat formed on my brow when she popped the question.

“Are you looking for something special for your significant other?”

I had never considered my daughter that. She was always my little girl. I smirked at the middle aged woman with heavy lipstick and pageant queen smile .

“My daughter is graduating from Pre-K tomorrow. She’s 4 years old. I want to surprise her with something simple but pretty.”

The woman led me to a large arrangement with white roses, teddy bear card and an emblem in the middle. She said she could switch out the roses with a color my daughter would like. Back then my kid was obsessed with white and green so I had her put together something that highlighted those.

My life was changing so quickly. It was three years ago this month that my daughter, Lyla aka Bug, completed her Pre_k requirements. It was the same time I met my wife, two other daughters, and made major alterations in my social life.

Being divorced, I had to depend on information about my daughter Lyla’s schooling from her teachers and assistants. One of them kindly showed me her cap and gown. Seeing that made me a mess of emotion, doubt, and anxiety. Just 4 years earlier, I was able to hold her in one hand while I made breakfast. She was so tiny. Now, she was walking in procession line to pomp and circumstance with a tassled hat.

The classroom was small. I got there about five minutes late because the florist was so busy, I had to stand in line a long time. The arrangement was larger than I expected. The roses were almost as tall as my daughter.

As her teachers called her name to the front of the room, my little girl strode proudly with a smile the size of the state of Georgia and received her certificate. I snapped my disposable Kodak and choked back tears.

I can’t remember a single thing about my high school graduation and it was videotaped. My college ceremony, I skipped to go to my first real life job. But, that day, in that mini classroom, I saw a beautiful girl, decked in blue with something that fit her personality peeking out of her flowing graduation gown. She had insisted to be dressed in her blue soccer practice pants. It was perfect. My little girl did her special day her own way.

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