My little girl graduated from Pre-K yesterday. Cydney has been preparing for the day for quite some time. About two months ago, I was asked to pick Cydney up no earlier than 5 pm so that she can rehearse for it. There were poems to practice and songs I didn’t want her to sing around the house so that I can be pleasantly surprised on the actual day. On As if they knew this was the end, Cydney’s longest friendand another child ran to her; giving the biggest hug Wednesday morning. This day has been coming for quite some time.
Yesterday wasn’t just the end of an era for Cydney; but for me also. Stopping to pick up flowers and breakfast, I left my house in a separate car than my mother and the kids. I drove to the school silently reflecting on the events leading up to that moment. My nephew went to that school. Six years ago, those very women who were my boy’s instructors met Timile when she was pregnant. They knew when Cydney was born and had heard about Timile’s passing. When it was established that I would be staying in New York, they knew Cydney would be one of theirs, as well.
I couldn’t afford Cydney being in daycare. She was with me all day, everyday from her return in April 2012 until we enrolled her two Aprils later. I had tried getting daycare vouchers from New York State; but something always happened and things didn’t work out. Hell, I had a guy who worked for the state yelling at me and my eighty-something year old grandmother because he thought I was just trying to get over. Cydney started school when I couldn’t take it anymore. She required a lot of attention and I was just starting to get paid to write. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and we both needed some time apart.
The evening before Cydney’s first day was the beginning of the end of my first relationship, post-Timile. Honestly, my trust in people has never been the same since that afternoon; and we didn’t even meet or speak. outside of text messaging. I’m working on being better. Nonetheless, while having these flashbacks, this was a moment that hit me.
When I got to the school, I sat in the parking lot for a moment. I thought about how the road getting here wasn’t easy. Just thinking about it right know is making my chest hurt. Before going inside to be proud of my little girl, I talked to her mother for a a couple of minutes. I told Timile “Yo, we here! I know you’re watching…Cydney is alright. I’m alright. We’re alright. I know you’d be proud of her. I’m a little jaded these days; but I’m working on getting my act together. I’m gonna be alright.” That last “I’m alright” was my way of reassuring her because I know if she were here, she’d be concerned.
Ten minutes later, I’m watching my daughter and her classmates sing and dance to “We Go Together” from the film, Grease. For the first time in over a year and a half, I almost cried. At the most, I’ll get that sensation that occurs right before one’s eyes well up; but that’s it. I was two blinks and fifteen seconds from tears. It’s not because I’m devoid of emotion. I’ve just been through a lot.
As I watched my daughter sing, recite, dance, and receive her diploma I was beyond proud. Yes, this is just Pre-K; but I’ve been through hell and back for this little girl. I lived for twenty-five years before Cydney Moriah Milner was born; but life began after. I couldn’t make up the ride that the two of us have been on…but I’m more than happy to have my little partner-in-crime.
How did we celebrate Cydney’s graduation? The whole family went out to eat. The after party: Cydney laying on me and crying because she had an earache.