There is no possible way that over the last school year these two girls went from the pig tailed, glasses wearing, arm and eye brow shaving little girls from the past into these girls I saw tonight... Right?
Tonight was the senior prom for the Phillipsburg High School class of 2014, and my two little girls were there. All day they had been prepping. Hair, makeup, and nails were being done. It felt like I was watching them get ready for their first day of high school. Only that happened almost 4 years ago.
I knew this was coming. I have been there for license tests, college applications, and scholarship forms. For Christ sakes their cap and gown pictures have been on my cubicle wall for almost 9 months now. So why are there tears hitting my keyboard along with my fingers?
These are not sorrowful tears. Not in the least bit. They are tears of accomplishment. Tears of pride. Tears of joy. Who am I kidding, they are tears of relief too!
I accomplished the almost unheard of by molding these two children into women at such a young age. Pride in who they have become. Joy in seeing them laughing and enjoying their final high school dance. Relief that they both had a better high school experience than I did.
Having a child in your freshman year of high school presents many problems. One of them comes years later, when you realize just how much you missed out on during those years. I went to my senior prom, however there was no large group of friends with me.
Working two jobs and raising a child makes extra-curricular activities less important and attainable. School friends are just that, friends in school. There are no weekend parties and road trips are minimal. So when proms come along there are no limo rides full of people to be had.
Knowing that my girls did not have anything that interfered with their ability to be kids has made me proudest of all. Living vicariously through them these last four years has helped soothe a troubled soul.
Personally, I would like to think they learned a thing or two from me along the way. How to parallel park a car, study for a big test, work hard to get what they want. But most importantly, I hope they learned that I am proud of them and that I love them.
I realize this isn't the end. Next Thursday is their graduation ceremony and I am certain there will be more tears shed, more memories made and looked back on. But for now, this proud father is anxiously awaiting the stories that will be told about their senior prom and desperately clinging to these last few days of their high school careers.