From the moment our children are born, our job as parents is to hold them close and let them go at the same time; from learning to crawl to first steps to 3 hours of pre-school that felt like forever; the tearful agonizing joyful moment you let go of your little one’s hand to go to kindergarten; couldn’t wait to push them out the door at 13 and now suddenly…*gulp* All growed up??
18 years counting backwards. It all comes in a rush of memories of the gold star parenting moments, the epic fail parenting moments, the moments your child spoke with a wisdom that humbled you to your core. Flashbacks to every victory won, every loss, every accomplishment, every conversation about how there are no failures, only try try try; the tender way they snuggled with you while watching a movie (even in high school); the boo-boos they came running to you for a Band-aid and a kiss; the ginormous conversations with your teen that always happened in the car or while folding laundry or doing the dishes where you tried not to let your jaw drop and keep your center at what they were confiding - the simultaneous glad they felt they could come to you and omg I don’t want to know.
Oh, how they would dutifully ignore you while at home and then wonder where you went if you left the house and the secret smile it brought to you that YES, in fact, you matter. It will forever sting of remembering how they loved you anyway through their tears because you yelled…again, because you were tired & cranky and they were the nearest target of your discontent.
All is cherished and forgiven as they stand before you, glowing with pride in the ceremony of the day of conferring diplomas of accomplishments. Both you and your child, glowing with pride of completing another milestone, another grade, another school - another year grown. Hope and promise of a new horizon.
Listen up, Life - be good to this kid because that’s my baby.
Every graduation my wish for my children was always this:
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. But what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.”
- Graduation Speech by Alan Alda/Connecticut College,1980
Carole Moritz, contributor