Saturday, August 22, 2009

She's Gone. Again.

My baby, Emily Brooke, left this morning for college, hopefully her last semester. Only one thing has kept her from graduating before now.

Quantitative Methods.

The course is described this way: Collection of mathematical and statistical methods used in the solution of managerial and decision-making problems, also called operations research (OR) and management science.

More like a collision of math and statistics.

Now, Emily ain't stupid, but when it comes to math, almost our entire family managed to avoid that talent. Probably because we were wading in the shallow end of the gene pool.

John and Carder whizzed through all kinds of math. Jennie has the ability. I need a calculator to add two and two.

Of course it doesn't help when you have to take the same course three times in order to graduate. Emily didn't get through four years of college by not applying herself or failing courses. She says the problem with this course is not the material but the professor. From how she's described him, I know I've seen his type--disdaining to students, out of touch with the real world, always proving a point, just showing off.

If you're reading this, Doc, let's get one thing straight. Either she passes this time, or you get a major 55-gallon can of ass-whup all over Lakeland, Florida. I'm not a well man, but I come from a long line of, let's say, determined people.

But back to the point. My youngest pulled out of the Dawsonville Chick-Fil-A about 8:30 this morning for what I hope is her last haul to Southeastern University.

Her mom teared up. So did Em. I didn't. Not until I was on my way back to Dahlonega.

I can't stand her leaving, but I am so proud of her. Someone once said that a daughter is always "Daddy's little girl," and for me that's true. But there's more.

I remember bringing her home from the hospital, our first (and only) girl. Most babies are butt-ugly when they're born, but not Emily. She was gorgeous from the start, thanks to her mother.

She was always--always--sensitive and kind-hearted like her brother Carder, and blunt-force honest like her brother John. She loved being around people, but if she didn't like you, you could forget it (and several people had to).

She's the life of the party, the "go-to" girl if you need encouraging, a hard worker, and some blessed man will make her his wife. If he passes the gauntlet of her daddy and two brothers.

She's the apple of her daddy's eye, the pride of her mama, and a fantastic friend to all who know her. She's beautiful, with eyes that look deep into your soul. She knows just what to say and when to say it. She has her own language, with words and expressions that make you laugh when she uses them--and only she can make her language work.

She's inimitable and one of a kind. I'm blessed to call her my daughter.

She's my little girl, and her own woman, full of God and love and adventure.

And she's gone.

My heart is breaking. Again.


bella said...

Daddy, you just know how to get me. I mean, really. I love you and adore you so much. Thank you for always encouraging me and making me feel beautiful -- I want one just like you.

And you know what? Everything is going to be just fine... not just with me, but with you too.

Jenbug said...

Wow! I cried all over again.. And all of this is so true!!!
I love you!