Boy, no one can prepare you for this. I can remember my own graduation as a kid. It's all so exciting marching to Pomp and Circumstance wearing your cap and gown. Teary and elated, but now? Oy vey, as a parent of two graduating seniors....There is no preparation for this feeling and what is ahead. Proud of my two, oh yes. Excited for what is ahead of them? Most definitely. They are prepared to go off so I know that we've done a fairly good job. I think that both have a sense of right and wrong, good values. And truly, I couldn't be more proud of the people they are growing up to be, but...there is so much sadness too.
The change, we, parents, are about to embark on is bigger than anything that I've ever experienced because I am sitting in the passenger seat for the first time. I have to let them fly away and see the world. If I ever felt like I am on the other side of the hill, this may be it. This is not a pity party. This is just all new experiences for us all. I will definitely handle it differently than, say, my spouse. I have devoted the past 25 years thinking about having children, struggling to have children, finally having children, watching them turn from infants to young adults, trying to teach them what is important in life (though not always feeling that I was successful there). They are still evolving. So am I.
This is a thrilling time and a very sad time. Everything now is the last one. The last high school show. The last art show. The last choral performance. The last Class Rep meeting. The last class. The last prom. The last track meet. The last everything high school. Yes, that's how it is supposed to be but experiencing it as a parent is a whole other ball of wax, that's all. Though I don't have any sense that my parents felt that way at all. Times were so different. We are far more involved in our kids lives than our parents were that maybe their way was a bit easier to handle these changes. I have no recollection of parental tears from anyone's parents in 1977. Here, I know that there will be plenty of parents shedding tears, so I am in good company there. Many of us will be facing empty nests when our kids go off for their next chapter. I have thought about this day for four years and still don't know what tomorrow may bring.
So, people, if you have any words of wisdom, if you have ideas, if you have any thoughts you want to share, I'll take them. I know that I will be alright it's just a road not travelled yet and not sure how to get there.
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