Little brown braids is graduating.
Her college's slogan is: Hook 'em, Horns! It's a perfect fit for a girl who's had life by the horns since day one.
When she was five, she wanted to play the violin. I told her she could start in second grade. In her typical, silent but sweet fashion, she nodded. And then promptly came home from church with a violin and a teacher.
When she was ten, she watched Gabby Douglas win the all-around gold in gymnastics. She immediately tried out for an elite team—at the very same gym Gabby would later train in—and surprised everyone but herself when she made it.
When she was twelve, she was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. Through countless finger pricks, insulin shots, highs, lows, and everything in between, she's never once complained about having a life threatening disease. The first endocrinologist we ever met told her, "you can still do anything you set your mind to." Every single day she proves him right.
When she was thirteen—after being homeschooled all her life—she started public school for the very first time. As an eighth grade girl. Probably the worst possible time to enter a system where friendships were formed long ago. She later told me she sat alone at lunch for quite some time. In typical fashion, through quiet confidence, she forged friendships with some of the sweetest girls.
When she was sixteen, they asked her to sing in the praise band at our church. Again, she surprised everyone but herself when she said yes. She's led us beautifully in worship ever since.
And last but not least, at eighteen she literally jumped out of a plane.
Elizabeth Mary, no one has to tell you to spread your wings and fly. Just make sure your adventures bring you home once in a while. Love you to the moon and back. (Or wherever your next flight takes you).
*She inherited both a beautiful voice and a love of Queen from her dad :)