It's Happening: This is for All You Girls About 42
I’m talking to you gals who feel like it was only yesterday that you marched to “Pomp and Circumstance” and flipped the tassels on your caps.
Now your child is graduating.
How in the world did that happen?
I can’t answer that question but I do know this: You, my fellow mom, have been on a recent roller coaster ride of emotions.
On one hand, you are proud of punch of your son’s or daughter’s accomplishments. He or she may have performed exceptionally well academically, athletically or artistically. Or maybe not. Perhaps your special graduate was an all-around true blue soul throughout school, being a friend to those who most needed one.
I know that your love and pride for your kid is as deep as it comes. You are his or her biggest fan. When he or she took that walk to receive that diploma, you were in awe. I bet your heart was even pounding a little. You couldn’t have been more excited to see John Bon Jovi himself were on stage before you.
Then there’s the anticipated separation anxiety. In a few short months, college will begin. One of the bedrooms in your house will be empty and yet another dormitory bed with extra-long sheets will be occupied. The words exchanged between my first graduate and me before leaving her at her dorm at WVU are forever etched in my memory:
“I’m a big girl,” she said.
“I know you are,” said Yours Truly – confident on the outside, but sobbing like a baby on the inside.
Then came daughter no. 2, who went all the way to Marshall U. I was crying so hard, I had to wear sunglasses the rest of the day.
Last, but surely not least, is the bit of panic and unpreparedness you’ve been feeling. You’re beating yourself up a little bit because you’ve had 18 years to work on your grad’s scrapbook and there are still missing pictures and newspaper articles. Well, pat yourself on the back for that. You see, the time you’ve spent in heart-to-heart talks with your daughter or hilarious conversation with your son and his friends was time better spent than gluing momentos on a page. There will be time for that.
The graduation party may not have been just the way you imagined it. Looking back someday, it will be even better. There’s something to be said for imperfect perfection – you, know, those slight faux pas that are so characteristic of your unique family. And so what if you were running late for graduation and were freaking out a little. You all made it in one piece.
The best news of all is this: Your special time with your little boy or girl is not over because of graduation. Members of the Class of 2012 are starting a new chapter and so are you! Each stage of his or her life is so special.
Those heart-to-hearts will continue, perhaps even more often. So will the silly moments. You’ll have the chance to visit on campus. You can even have sleepovers with your daughter, dragging a mattress from another dorm room to make accommodations comfy. And you can still continue to clean your son’s toilet and pick up his laundry. Now there’s a bright spot.
You will still shop with your daughter, not only for clothes, but also for grown-up stuff like Magic Erasers and table lamps.
Looking a little further down the road, there may be future sons- and daughters-in-law – and grandbabies.
So catch a deep breath and relax. You did good.
Remember, every laugh line on your face makes you who you are today. And I know of one graduate who thinks you are absolutely imperfectly perfect - and he or she adores you for that.