Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It was my daughter's graduation day and I'd misplaced the camera. After turning the hotel room's drawers upside down, I retraced my steps, thinking of the last time I'd used it. I remembered placing it on a chair at Shannon's apartment the day before. We called her. She did a quick search, but she couldn't find it anywhere. Moments away from leaving for one of the biggest events in her life(and ours)and we'd have no photos for memories.

The realization of the missing camera gave me an even greater sense of loss. When my daughter was a baby, a friend who had adult children told me, "You start letting go of your children the day they are born." That was wise advise, but that morning my mind was consumed with regrets that extended beyond the camera.

I wished I'd realized that every moment of childhood was precious and that things I thought mattered didn't amount to a hill of beans. I wish that I hadn't traveled so much even though Shannon convinced me she was so busy that the time flew when I was away. Over the years I'd missed some of her school events. And had she forgotten about the choir dress that didn't fit the day of the recital? I was visiting a school in the Dallas area that day. Some of my regrets bordered on the ridiculous. Does it really matter that I opted for store bought birthday cakes instead of baking one? All those thoughts made me feel like I'd somehow misplaced my years of motherhood.

Before heading to the coliseum we swung by my daughter's apartment complex to pick up her camera. She met us at the bottom of the stairs. I don't know who I was expecting to meet us--the little girl with a china doll cut and overalls or the twelve-year old with braces and purple rubber bands. Those girls didn't show. In their place was a lovely young woman, dressed in a white strapless dress and red shoes. Her steps projected confidence and joy. She handed us her camera and right there in the middle of the parking lot we had a big family hug. Somehow through all the missed events, ill-fitting choir dresses and store-bought birthday cakes, we'd arrived at this moment. And it was a good one.

Later my daughter found my camera. It was in the glove compartment of our rental car. I hadn't lost it after all. And the daughter? She may be grown but I haven't lost her either.


  1. Last night while attending my youngest's kindergarten graduation it hit me hard how fast it all goes. i plan to blog about my thoughts very soon.

  2. (((Kimberly)))
    What a beautiful post by a beautiful mother! You will NEVER lose your precious girl.

    Congratulations Shannon!


  3. Travis,

    Congratulations on your kindergartner's graduation. Yes, time flies. Enjoy every minute.


    Thank you! I know you and your Shannon are close, too.