Dear Catie (On your last first day of school)…
Senior Year. This is the big one, sister.
All the other years have been practice for this one. There were the trials of Pre-K, when you wanted to stay home every day. Then, elementary school, with the constant drama of Fast Facts and Sight Words. Onward through the Middle School years of (ugh!) trying to understand complicated friendships.
Senior year is the crowning moment of it all. You’re prepared for this year in ways you’ve never been before. You’ve been through some big challenges: AP classes with so much reading, balancing 4 varsity sports, COVID & terrible online school, heartbreak, and big disappointments. Some days you still just want to stay home.
But you know what, sweetheart? You always have this incredible faith. In God, yes, but it’s more than that. You know there’s a way through any hard day–and that keeps you happy. One hundred percent of the time, you trust the bright side is coming. Your confidence in things not seen is your best gift. It’s contagious and we all need it.
This unique, sparkling faith will get you senior year. It will get you through wherever you go—college (near or far), to your first job, and on to the most significant relationships you’re about to discover.
Here, at the beginning of the end, I know what’s coming for me in the next season, too. You are ready to share your charisma & joy with the rest of the world. I’ll miss that joy so much. I will miss it every day in our kitchen, cooking together and blasting dance music… I will miss our shopping trips & adventures exploring the healthiest restaurants in Houston… I’ll miss our long talks when we analyze everything from friends to boys to political parties… and I will really miss our inside jokes that make me laugh until I cry.
Everyone needs Catie Hergenrader in their lives. After this year, so many new people who will get that chance.
As for me, I’ll hold onto these moments a bit more tightly, knowing they’re all about to change.
Set the world on fire, sweet girl.
I could not love you more.