“What are you most looking forward to this year?”
It’s graduation season, also known as “nostalgia and Kleenex overload” season because there isn’t a more clear-cut reminder of how fast it all goes by when it comes to parenting. One day, you’re choking back tears as you send your little one off to their first full day of school, and the next you’re full-on sleeve sobbing as you watch them accept their high school diploma, prepare for adulthood, and pray to the gods they don’t leave you forever.
Kevin Scruggs was ahead of the game when he started filming his daughter Mackenzie’s first days of school back in the early aughts. He sat down and interviewed her every year from first grade to 12th, asking her what she was most looking forward to each time. Prepare yourselves, it’s about to get all sorts of dusty up in here.
Whew. Watching her go from a sweet little six-year-old with bangs and a love for coloring to a beautiful teenager admitting she was already scoping out “cute boys” on day one all in the span of a couple of minutes was kind of a gut punch. But what an amazing graduation gift to have and cherish forever, for both Kevin and Mackenzie. The “I love you” exchange year after year as the video comes to an end is a really great trigger for your ugly cry face.
The video has been viewed over 1.3 million times on YouTube in just three days, probably because we’re all emotional masochists already mentally tallying how many summers we have left with our children in our family nest (Ok, 16 summers, that’s a lot, right? RIGHT?). Or maybe we all just have a soft spot for really touching graduation gifts.
In an adorkable, very Dad-ish follow-up video, Kevin wears a puka shell necklace and reacts to the responds to his video, answering questions like why his voice didn’t change in 13 years and also expressing his glee over having “subscribers” now. He thanked everyone watching for sharing in the “amazing adventure” and for experiencing “in about three minutes what I’ve had the privilege of experiencing over the last 13 years of Mackenzie’s life.
Insert sobbing emoji here. It’s impossible to enjoy every single moment all of the time, even when we know our kids grow up so quickly. But as long as we’re really present for the big ones, that’s what truly matters.