For the college graduate—finding the shoe that fits

baby shoe hand photo for Catie's graduation


“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
~Dr. Seuss

The little girl who wore this very shoe pictured in my hand is graduating from college Saturday.

My daughter is now a young woman about to embark on a new sales career in the corporate world. I expect she will now be wearing heels with her business attire.

Like many parents of college graduates, I am in slight disbelief that twenty years passed so quickly.  My daughter expedited the journey by completing four years of college in three, which is no surprise given that she was always a precocious child and go-getter.

The initial, gut-wrenching “letting go” began when she went abroad in high school, once to Spain and a second time to work at an orphanage in Africa for three weeks.  When she left for college, I could not walk by her room without crying.  Other parents share similar stories of the sadness felt initially when a child leaves home.

Now, I accept my daughter is continuing on her own journey of discovery, creating a path based on her uniqueness.

My dream for her and all graduates is that they find the new “shoe” (life choice, both in career and relationships) that fits well.  Adding their own style, may they know the fit is right by tuning into their own feelings of comfort, ease, passion and purpose.

As it was with the baby shoe, I hope they always leave enough wiggle room for growth. 

The photo of Gail holding her daughter’s black velvet baby shoe was taken by Barbara Hopkinson, a dear friend who is also a mother.


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  • Dick Joseph says:

    Hi Gail,

    That is so fantastic that Catie is now a graduate. She is a fantastic girl – her mother’s daughter. My kids are entering their senior years and, like you, I wonder where those years went. You did a great job and I know she’s as proud of you as you are of her.



    • Gail says:

      Thanks, Dick, for your kind words. I can’t imagine going through this process with twins–does it go by doubly fast or seem twice as long? Gail

  • Dick Joseph says:

    Good question… Now that they are home for the summer and staking their claim to the house… I think twice as long right now!

  • Denise says:

    Wow! Seems like I was just in your transitions class when our daughters were seniors at Masco. What a lovely post to commemorate this milestone & transition!

    • Gail says:

      Thanks, Denise–I actually shed another tear just now when you reminded me of teaching that class at Masco about the transition to college. We’ve come a long way in our “letting go” journeys. Now, we need to show our children that we have fulfilling lives as well as they expand their wings even further. I appreciate your taking the time to write and stay in touch. Blessings, Gail

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