Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

CHS Graduation: Photos, a Cory Booker Video, and One Mom’s Graduation Ode

The following letter was posted to Facebook on June 25 — Columbia High School Class of 2019 graduation day — by Village Green contributor and photographer Joy Yagid. Like any SOMA parent, Joy’s pretty spectacular. Her message to daughter Bella will get you weepy — and then, in addition to all the photos from graduation at the Codey Arena in West Orange, there’s that personalized Cory Booker video thrown in just for kicks.

Congratulations to Bella — and to all the CHS Class of ’19 grads!

Dear Child,

I sit here in silence, waiting for you to wake up for the last time as a high school student. The rain woke me up early and because of the day it is, I couldn’t go back to sleep. It’s a day I have worked my entire motherhood towards. My one goal as a parent is to make sure you are a good human and that you could stand on your own two feet. That you are a productive member of society.

We’re nearly there. You’ve fledged.

And I sit here in the quiet. Thinking of those 17 years. I blinked. From chubby hugs of ‘Up! Up! Up!’ to rolling your eyes so far back I thought your retinas would detach…I blinked. To that first baby laugh from the belly so infectious that none of us couldn’t help but belly laugh with you. From your first word ‘kitty’ and your second word ‘no’ to non stop talking, unless your were sulking – then no words, only eyerolls. And maybe a grunt.

From your first steps careening around the living room chasing the cats yelling ‘kitty!!!’, to not being able to watch you pull out of the driveway. How did you get a driver’s license? How can those chubby arms even reach the wheel? How can those corn niblet toes reach the gas pedal? All those things. All of them. 17 years. And now I sit in the quiet. Waiting for this last day to start. And tomorrow starts a new day. A new time. And I am so very proud of the human you have become. Fierce and tender. Smart (smart mouthed – sometimes too much for your own good…but it is a needed survival skill in this family). You are a wonderful, beautiful human. I love you forever to the moon and back. And yes, I will be hot mess tonight at graduation. Just roll with it.

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