Right now, in this very moment, I don’t know what’s next. And these days as graduation nears, I am living moment to moment. Each breath feels held.
Remember bringing home your first baby? The awe, the wonder, the realization you were responsible for another human life.
Remember your child’s first day away from you? Leaving them with someone you trusted hoping they will still know how much you loved them. Crying in the car because you had to work but would rather be home loving your baby instead.
Remember the first day of school? The excitement and nervousness running through their little bodies and yours. Crying a little because they were entering a world far out of your control. Praying silently someone would befriend them. That they wouldn’t sit at a lunch table all alone. Hoping their teacher would see them, know them, and nurture them.
Remember their last day of elementary school and the beginning of junior high? If you had a boy like mine the cuddles and spontaneous hugs stopped here. This is where being around your parents started to be embarrassing. Hormones change and one night my baby boy went to sleep, and the next morning woke up with a man’s voice. Emotions ran high, but the time passed in the fastest blink of an eye.
Remember the pride as they transitioned to high school? Being a little worried a fourteen-year-old and an eighteen-year-old in the same setting might be too overwhelming. Navigating social media rules, a new driver, the first job, AP classes, homework expectations, the thrill of high school sports, new romance, the ebb, and flow of childhood friendships. Not to mention, the barrage of college applications, financial aid, college visits, and finally, hopefully some acceptance letters arrive.
The roller coaster of raising a child is the absolute best experience of my life. At each stage I have wondered what’s next and been pleasantly surprised. Each stage a blessing and a change, a slight adjustment. A small step into the background of your child’s expanding life.
This time as high school graduation looms just a mere few weeks away, my heart seems a little more stuck in my throat than usual. My baby will venture into a stage where I will see him less than ever before. He will be on his own for the first time. Of course, we will be right here ready when he needs us. It leaves me wondering what is next with great pride and excitement for him, for all those graduating and whatever their futures may hold. This time though, there is a tinge of a broken heart because this different might just be a little too hard. And believe me I know I am one of the lucky ones; I get to watch my baby graduate. My baby is here with me still. So, I hope this different stage finds me pleasantly surprised like the rest. I hope this different shows me new ways to be a supportive mom. I hope these different catapults him to a future filled with happiness and success. I hope my heart can handle every emotion passing through it. I hope his heart can, too.
To all those with a graduate this year my heart is with yours. My full
support is with you and your graduates as you wait to find out what is next.
Congratulations and much love,