But for me, today is really a special day. Bailey - my youngest child - graduated from the University of Iowa. It was the culmination of a lot of encouraging on my part, but mostly just plain hard work on hers.
When Bailey was at the end of 7th grade, she was scoring in the 90th percentile of her age group in nearly every subject and 89% in reading comprehension. After getting permission from her counselor to enroll her at Central Academy, I told her the big news, thinking she would be thrilled.
"MOTHER!" she wailed. "I don't want to leave my friends to hang out with a bunch of nerds at Central!" I pretty much forced the issue, and the next semester in eighth grade, she took several classes a day at an accelerated level.
The first month was rough. After crying every night about having too much homework for about a month, she finally stopped crying and started studying. And learning! She was doing great, making new friends, and doing very well in classes that were suited for high school juniors. And she gained a ton of confidence.
After graduating from Roosevelt, she went on to attend DMACC and majored in business. After obtaining a two-year degree, she was ready to stop. "I'm sick of school, Mom," she'd say any time we talked about it. I took her to a career counselor who finally convinced her to continue on. She transferred her entire DMACC business degree to the University of Iowa, where she automatically started as a junior.
We made the trip to Iowa City to watch her receive her diploma - then we celebrated with Bailey's favorite - Jethro's barbeque. A good time was had by all.
I'm so thrilled for my Bailey today. She is truly an inspiration to me. Absolutely no one could be more proud. Congratulations, my darling girl.