Nine days ago, my firstborn graduated from college.
Last year, she studied abroad in Japan, taking classes and interning for her media degree.
Three years ago, she took her first trip to Japan, and fell in love with the country and the language.
Four years ago, she was anxiously deciding on which of the eight colleges that accepted her application she should attend.
Eight years ago, she began her high school marching band career, playing percussion in the pit.
Nine years ago, she made district level honors playing marimba.
Eleven years ago, she fought to become a percussionist.
Fifteen years ago, she was the smallest player on her coach-pitch T-ball team, and whacking 'em past the baselines.
Sixteen years ago, she started kindergarten in bobby socks and a dutch bob haircut, already reading.
Twenty years ago, she was enrolled in our region's infant-parent program, working to remediate a speech delay.
Twenty-one years ago, she attended her first NICU reunion.
Twenty-two years ago, she had just gotten off her apnea monitor and meds to keep her breathing while she slept.
Almost twenty-three years ago, she arrived a full trimester early, weighing less than a kilogram. Her head was the size of a tennis ball, her eyes were fused shut, she had no fingernails or toenails. We were told she had a fifty-percent chance of surviving the first twenty-four hours.
Well played, college graduate. We couldn't be prouder of our miracle girl.