This photo means so much to me. On my back is my precious Eleanor Grace. This is the little girl whose world was rocked by me leaving for two years of graduate school.
I snapped this photo early Saturday morning at REI, about twelve hours after I walked across the stage at graduation and received my diploma. We never bought the backpack, but we had a lot of fun running around the store, jumping in and out of isles. I could hear her giggling in my ear. She swooned my name with such joy.
I can’t help but be surprised how the memory of this morning almost feels nearly as sweet at the day Norah was born. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting about the morning. Candyce was hosting her ladies prayer group at our house, which meant that Dad and I needed to take Norah and spend the morning away from the home. We spent some time at the coffee shop, and then explored a mall before any of the stores were open. We finished with an exploration of REI.
It was my father, my oldest daughter, and me. No place to be, but completely happy spending time together. There was no distraction from work or graduate school. Just family. Just happiness.