My son is graduating from high school in a few weeks. This isn’t my first rodeo as my oldest daughter graduated from high school five years ago and is, in fact, graduating from college next week. However, for some reason, this high school graduation of my son is hitting me harder than the graduation of my daughter. I’m constantly on the verge of tears. I’m not usually a “crier,” and I’m not liking it one bit.
I’ve decided that it is because no one tells you about the “lasts.” When you become a parent, you are all consumed with the “firsts.” The first smile (is it true happiness or just gas?). The first time your wee one sleeps through the night (Hallelujah and praise the Lord!). The first time they roll over, eat solid food, cut the first tooth, say their first word, take their first step, enjoy the first birthday cake, make their first friend, attend their first day of school. The list goes on and on.
First Day of Kindergarten
This year has been spent documenting my son’s senior year of high school. There have been lots of lasts in this year. The last first day of school while in high school. The last homecoming. The last basketball game. The last prom. The last track meet.
I went into a sort of depression during mid-basketball season because my son injured his toe and missed several games. I was out of sorts and grumpy. I went to one home basketball game while he had to sit on the bench because of his injury. While I was proud of him for energetically cheering on his teammates, I couldn’t stand not watching him play and didn’t attend another game until he was able to be back on the court. This was his LAST YEAR of playing high school basketball and I was being cheated out of watching him play his game.
But another side of me knows that this is what kids are meant to do–grow up. They are meant to venture out in the world, find their niche and passion, and hopefully (at least from this mother’s heart) marry the love of their life and make me a doting grandma in several (and I do mean SEVERAL) years down the line. While we are experiencing a lot of “lasts” presently, we still can look forward to many more “firsts.”
So as I experience a mixture of happiness, pride, sadness and melancholy during this graduation season, I know my son is doing exactly what he is meant to do and that brings me joy–tears, too, but mostly joy. Someone will probably need to remind me of this joy when our youngest child graduates in two years. Ah, the circle of life.