The Westminster School campus.
There are some moments in life that have an elusive sweetness that is hard to describe...but I’m going to take a crack at it anyway, for there have been several such moments this weekend. Daddy moments.
I am blessed with a wonderful wife and two fine daughters (keyn ayin hora). Over time, I have been privileged to see both She Who Must Be Obeyed and the Mistress of Sarcasm functioning in their professional capacities – the former as a classroom teacher, the latter as both a jewelry designer and as a concierge – and in both cases, I have been Mighty Impressed.
SWMBO, flanked by the Mistress of Sarcasm and Elder Daughter.
This weekend, I finally got to see Elder Daughter in her professional element, and likewise, I was Mighty Impressed.
For the past three weeks, Elder Daughter has represented her employer at a series of day-long events targeted at educators. The program – Teach Africa Phase II – was held in Houston two weeks ago, Los Angeles last week, and now in Atlanta at the Westminster School.
The Westminster School is one of those High-End Private Schools, the graduates of which are sure to feel right at home at most Ivy League universities...except fot the fact that the campuses of the Ivy League universities will feel somewhat cramped and undersized.
As one of the featured speakers, Elder Daughter (I am pleased to report) more than held her own amongst a roster that included the Congolese Ambassador to the U.S., a senior vice president of the World Bank (and former Ambassador from Uganda), the director of the Southern Center for International Studies, and the CEO of the Africa Society.
It’s a sweet feeling, to see your little girl, now All Grown Up, speaking – nay, mesmerizing – a big audience of Serious People.
Elder Daughter dominates the lectern.
But the real Daddy Moment was yesterday afternoon, as I was dropping Elder Daughter off at her hotel.
She was booked at the Renaissance Waverly, a lodging establishment over by the Galleria in northwest Atlanta, a mere stone’s throw from the old offices of the Great Corporate Salt Mine. Back in the 1980’s, we used to spend a fair amount of time there – Sunday brunches, et cetera – and later, after we moved away, I would occasionally stay there in the course of visiting Atlanta-area customers...or going to see the Masters Tournament. It was, as they say, a Fancy-Pants Crib.
As I stood at Reception and watched my daughter take out her own Corporate Card and hand it to the desk clerk, I thought back to all the times I had done the same thing. Checking in at the Waverly. The building looked pretty much the same, but in that moment I realized just how much water had flowed under the bridge. How many years it had been.
Enough years to transform Elder Daughter from a little girl into a fully-formed Grown Up Professional Woman. Intelligent. Confident. And beautiful.
And I smiled.