My Daughter Graduated High School And I Survived
Last year about this time, I really felt like my heart was breaking into a million pieces. The fact that my oldest was graduating was a little more than I could bear. We welcomed Grace into our home when she was seven years old and I felt that I hadn’t had enough time with her to be entering this new season of her life. Let me also say that during all of my mom meltdowns, my husband was kindly reminding me that she wasn’t going anywhere, she would attend MCC.
That was not comforting. Maybe it was all very dramatic but I went through this weird mourning that I didn’t expect. My niece was also a senior so my sister and I were in the same boat. We climbed aboard the hot mess express and didn’t get off. Ha. I took off work for all the lasts. Her last homecoming pep rally, special senior days, whatever. I didn’t care. I was there. She was the high school mascot so we didn’t miss a game. I probably took ten thousand pictures throughout the school year and spent a million dollars on theme days, tutus and t-shirts.
I literally felt like I blinked and we were here. How did this happen? It also made me regret missing so much. Being a teacher, I couldn’t take my kids to school on the first day because I had to be there for my students. I often couldn’t attend their holiday parties because I had to attend my own. People always think you see your kids more when you teach but you actually see them less. Grace didn’t feel let down by me but man, I was just overcome with emotions.
Graduation came and went. I made a movie with those ten thousand pictures to show at her graduation party. I wish I had pictures of her when she was little but I am thankful for the few I do have. It was a fun celebration and I was so proud. Life has not been easy for her but we have made it to our first big milestone. I feel like Nick and I deserve a prize for that. Ha.
Fast forward to today. We have just made it through her first year at MCC. It was challenging. School does not come easy but she did it. She still lives at home. I never thought I would ever think about or want her to move out but there are days when I think she would be better adulting without her mama. She does not like that I make her “adult” daily. I get texts all the time saying, “I’m never adulting again!” I burst into laughter and remind her that we are easing her into the world because she still lives at home. You’re welcome. Growing up is hard! Remember when you hated taking naps as a kid but as an adult, it’s the biggest gift. Yeah, if we only knew then what we know now.
I am thankful that Grace stayed home and went to the local college. I think it helped me to process the idea that I will have to one day let her go and I must trust that she will be okay. Next year my oldest son will be a senior and we get to do this all over again. I think by time my last graduates, which will be in two years, I will be so over it and tell them all to get out. Ha! Yeah right.
Since becoming parents, we have embraced the idea that we are raising adults: positive and productive members of society. I have certainly learned over this year that even when they graduate, they still need their parents, sometimes more than ever. We just have to trust that everything we have taught our children will be what paves the way for them. I also remind myself that the world can be a little scary for them too.
No matter where their journey leads them, we will be there because they will always be our babies. Launching your kids into society is not for the weak but it’s not the end of the world. It’s a really fun season of life and for our children, it’s really just their beginning.