This will be my last birthday post for D'arcy. As the family historian, I've assumed the job of documenting her childhood, but her childhood is now officially over. Her life is hers to record and share...which doesn't mean she won't end up on my instagram feed.
It's been such a joy to watch her this past year as she wrapped up high school and made plans to step out independently into the world. I loved watching her jump and serve the volleyball as a Blue Devil and carefully preparing macarons for each of her friends' birthdays. I loved hearing her move around in her attic bedroom, pounding the keys of her keyboard. Her steps above me were my alarm clock each morning. I loved listening to people's reaction when they heard her sing in the musical. "I had no idea she could sing like that!" I did.
I loved helping her pick out three yellow dresses, one for easter, prom, and graduation. Several of her friends gathered to get ready at our house and descended two flights of stairs in their long dresses and high heels. Stephen drove her and a friend to prom in his old convertible, but I secretly drove past to see the beauty of a hundred teenagers standing on the library steps in their formal attire. I parked around the corner and cried at the beauty of it all. I loved screaming her name as she crossed the stage at Clewes Hall and seeing her siblings run to hug her as she came out on the lawn after graduation.
There were hard moments as well. She grieved the loss of a couple of close friendships. She struggled to know and accept her part in the breakdown and set healthy boundaries. In late March, she tearfully told me that Notre Dame, her reach school, had officially declined her application. She decided to go to Indiana University, and this summer was mostly a joyful time of getting ready. The night before she left, though, she came into our room crying, feeling scared. And, so, I petted her hair as she laid in our bed and just had a moment.
She has a great support system at IU, a best friend for a roommate and plenty of high school friends to help her feel less alone. When we dropped her off, we knew we would see her soon. We were picking her up in just ten days (the day after her birthday) for my dad's wedding. I left a gift with her roommate, asking her to put it on her bed on her birthday morning. Her friends surprised her with a sushi dinner out in Bloomington.
While I didn't see her on her eighteenth birthday, I picked her up the next day. She looked beautiful at the wedding. D'arcy and Julian performed a duet during the ceremony and she gave an impromptu speech. Then she put her tennis shoes on and asked the DJ to play The Wobble. That's my girl. Always my girl.