WHEN DAISY WAS FOUR YEARS OLD, I heard carefree singing coming from the bathroom. nervously, I peeked into the room, bracing myself for the worst. there was Daisy, standing on a stool at the counter. the sink was brimming with water, toilet paper, toothbrushes and combs. with a wooden spoon in her chubby hands, daisy was swirling the toiletry soup with all the fervor of a cordon bleu protege.

"what are you doing?" I asked.

Daisy merrily chirped, "I'm making make-believe."

that magical day full of hope and whimsy is still close enough to see in my rear view mirror. kinda like her graduation from preschool not very long ago.

as it turns out, our little girl who knew the formula for making make-believe and had a certain fascination with clothes pinned hair...

 and eating sand....

and melting hearts with wild untamed hair and impish "I just learned to ride my bike and deserve ice cream" smiles... is all grown up!!!

after only 17 birthdays, Daisy suddenly graduated from high school. On May 27, 2010, her hair was curled in big wavy rolls that, with a healthy stretch of the imagination, almost resembled farrah fawcett (a 70's hairdo that still makes my husband oogle with love..)

Beside the curls, Daisy wore a simple, pink feminine dress for the occasion and an awesome pearl and rose bracelet with beads the size of balaton cherries.

graduation day festivities began in the garden where chicken alfredo grows into hip buoys.

we then took the party to the burns arena on the dixie college campus for some pomp and circumstance....

 graduation march with Ian Gates

there were some awesomely decorated caps...

a couple of great talks by the valedictorian (melissa randall, a violinist who shared the concertmistress stand in orchestra with Daisy) and the salutatorian (lindsey quilter, Daisy's good friend) about the past, present, and future, a slideshow and some wonderful music.

photo from the Spectrum

 watching Daisy play in the orchestra...... is something I have LOVED since she was 4.

(you can read my peri-menopausal rant about that here.)

and then just like that, with the turning of a jeweled tassel and toss of the mortarboard, Daisy was no longer a high school student. She had gradated with flying black n' red colors,  a 3.99 GPA, many awards, and several lei's.

 Executive Council 2009-2010

 after the ceremony, Daisy endured the obligatory cheese...

 BFF: Brittany Stackhouse

 Student Body President and good friend, Jake Stout

Exec Council Advisor and second dad: Jody Rich

 future roomie at Utah State University: Lisha Moffitt

then it was off to grandpa and grandma hackworths... for more documentation of the day,

 little brother teasings....

  opening gifts...

and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream.

yes! it was a perfect day.......

except for the fact that our oldest son sean, who is on an LDS mission, and my siblings couldn't be with us.

AND except for the fact that Daisy was graduating :)

throughout all of this, I did well. that is...well...as in not filling one...The orchestra's song brought on the only dry-eye detour of the day... a road I tried painfully hard to avoid because

a) opened flood-gates are the dickens to close, and

b) I really wanted to avoid the groans of disgust from my teen-age boys

I admit, I am secretly excited for the day when they are sitting at their child's graduation and suddenly develop a...ahemm... a little something in their eye. I will groan my most disgusted "see what it's like" groan. and then smile an empathetic smile....that is, after I get my own darn allergies under control. Someday as the circle of life continues, they too, will feel the pull of time and tug of hearts with the bittersweet end of an era: a busy, exciting, activity-filled, hormone-charged, friend-flooded, memory-making, character-building era. the packaging up of a collection of sweet n' sour moments which snuck into our lives with all the stealth and finesse of a snow leopard.

throughout Daisy's high school career, she turned many of her dreams to reality, always maintaining her childhood sense of hope and whimsy. she is worlds ahead of what I was at age 17 in wisdom, smarts, common sense, drive, and determination. come to think of it, she is worlds ahead of what I am at 44. miss daisy is well on her way to being successful... defined by her happiness.

We are SOOOO proud of you dear darlin' daughter. Thanks for an incredible ride!

Now go make some more fishy make-believe!!


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