As parents, we mark milestones. We record our children’s transitions from crawling to walking, from elementary to middle to high school, to getting a driver’s license, and onward into adulthood.
My son, my oldest, graduated high school this month. I hadn’t expected this milestone to hit me so hard.
As he drove off to the graduation ceremony in his cap and gown, I didn’t see a young man about to embark on adulthood. No, I saw my toddler scooting around with his ride-on toy.
His was the first class since the pandemic to graduate in a “normal” way. No masks. No precautions. It was the celebration every senior should experience and I was so happy for him and his classmates.
Eighteen years have flown by, and the last few have been a wild ride.
So many emotions came up when I thought about writing this. I can’t name them all, but they ranged from grief to joy and everything in between.
There were many tough times during the past 18-plus years of parenting. Plenty of difficult moments, hard conversations, and unpredictable turns of events. Life throws plenty of curve balls.
But today I am focused on my sense of happiness and peace when I realize that my son did it, he graduated.
And I couldn’t be more proud of him.
There was a time when he considered dropping out and getting his GED so he wouldn’t have to go to school anymore.
There were times when he had to travel back and forth between homes because his father and I are divorced. I have watched him struggle to find a sense of balance and stability.
There was the pandemic, which presented mental health challenges for us and for many people we know.
There were new relationships and ones that fell apart.
There were friends and grandparents who passed away, months apart.
And through it all, he graduated. He did it.
It continues to amaze me how resilient my children are. Watching my son go through demanding times and continue to move forward, ……I don’t have the words.
I don’t think he understands what he has overcome and the significance of it all, but I hope that one day, he will. I see him, I value him, I am so proud to be his mom.
Now I am the parent of an adult child.
We are entering a new chapter, together.
Wish us luck!