Last Saturday, I watched with a mixture of joy and melancholy as my eldest graduated college. Joy for the wonderfully mature woman she's become with a bright future ahead of her; melancholy for the days when she and her sisters were The PowerPuff Girls.
You wouldn't think they'd all come from the same parents because everything about them was different. Different hair, different eyes and (especially) different temperaments. And if you'd known my daughters and then watched the cartoon, you'd swear my daughters had to have been the inspiration.
As the oldest, Rachel easily assumed the role of leader, whether her little sisters liked it or not. She was Blossom in every way. My feisty Rebecca was the spitting image of Buttercup...tough as nails but with a heart of gold. And little Emily, with her sweet-as-sugar smile and effervescent spirit, was in all ways Bubbles. As different as any three girls could be, except for the bond of love they shared as sisters.
It's been a long time since I last saw my girls bouncing around the living room, re-creating their fantasy world of "saving the world before bedtime." Rebecca and Emily might still indulge themselves occasionally, but those days have gotten fewer and farther between. Like their older sister, they've moved on to other interests, but it wasn't until Saturday that the reality of time really started to sink in for either of them. They grappled with it all the way home as they kept musing to each other, "Our sister is a college graduate? When did that happen?!?"
I wanted to tell them it happened like everything else in life does...while they were busy doing other things. But that's one of those things they'll find out on their own eventually anyway.