Our second graduate. Our eighteen year old son's commencement ceremonies was emotional. I didn't think I would be emotional at all being that I come across as this tuff crusted cookie. What it was for me was a sense of relief. After all those years of different challenges, struggles and that constant push for our son to graduate is finished. One more child finishing a milestone. I don't expect all our children to graduate but I do try my hardest for them too. I am on them daily about the importance of education. About the importance of finishing school because even if they don't continue with their education, it shows their future employer that they have the dedication and responsibilities to finish something. I looked around at hundreds of proud parents, many were crying. Which made me really bite my tongue. Weird on how pain will stop my tears from flowing. You would think that it would be the other way around, biting my tongue should make me cry more. As a parent with adult children I've learned to let go. It's their life, not mine. My husband and I did the best we could as parents throughout their years and now it's our young adult child's turn making their own choices, spreading their wings and moving on. So not only was commencements a proud moment, a finished milestone, a sense of relief, it was that moment I knew another one of our children is moving on. Not only that, I knew many of the graduates. They grew up with our son like most of their friends do. I remembered what each and every child looked like years ago. I remembered how our sons friend was so darn cute coming over to play......and there they all were graduating together, separating ways and this fase of life that was once a child is now over. I wondered what friend would stay in touch. I hoped that all their futures were filled conquering their endless dreams. Mastering whatever life might throw at them. I wished health and happiness. It was a moment as a Mother I will never forget. We've had a very busy week with multiple appointments one after another, it seemed like endless fieldtrips and school activities, we celebrated a birthday, worked hard to make camping happen, organized and planned a birth family visit, going over homeschooling for September - you name it, we're accomplishing it. We've been rearranging bedrooms, cleaning and happily throwing away the old and in with the new. I was feeling like a yo-yo doing cartwheels then getting tangled with a few sicknesses that surfaced but to end; sobbing over one of the first biggest moments for our son was not only that relief but a release for me. I went with my oldest son and his beautiful girlfriend, my stepfather and mother, my oldest already graduated daughter now in University, one of my friends that I've known since our now graduated sons met in kindergarten. Her daughter and husband. Both our sons were graduating together. She cried. For her, this was her last baby graduating and moving on. He's going traveling. She's now a Mother questioning, "What is she going to do now?" I don't exactly have that problem because we have many more children but I felt for her. It's a huge change, an empty nest. For us, our two oldest sons are moving this summer, we might not be empty but whenever anyone leaves, it's a change. I remember when our oldest daughter first left. When we were moving back from up North, she wasn't returning with us. I remember packing her up and I watched her drive away. I didn't cry until she was gone. Reality really doesn't set in until everything is all said and done. Believe me, (even with having many children) when one leaves; there is a different type of silence. Life is bitter sweet. We learn to bite the bitter and welcome the sweeter side of changes. I look at the rest of our children growing, we celebrated another birthday Wednesday evening (where I can fit it in) and while watching, I know my time with most of them is short. My promise has always been, "I will do the best I can as I know how as a parent" From there; when they move on, it's up to them to guide their life. I learned that my opinion is only valid when it's asked for. "Mmmm" I sigh......it's true. I was talking with a woman Wednesday night, a woman that councils adult woman and she was amazed on how grounded I was. Her son is friends with our son - so it wasn't a counceling session but merely an observation on her part. Immediately I agreed. In fact I am very grounded. Very content. Very peaceful inside. She asked me, "How are you SO grounded?" I said, "I've learned not to jump on anyone elses boat" "I find an hour a day for myself" "I always tell myself, it's not about me" "I read and I write" "I don't judge" "I've been learning to accept what is and I believe that everything happens for a reason" SO she left feeling pretty good, I left feeling assured I knew what I was talking about. lol I know I ventured off with my writing again from adult children moving on, to feeling very solid as a person but that's exactly it......that was my week. Each and every day was busy with different scenarios, it had its ups and downs and here I am. Emotionally I'm proud and somewhat relieved, somewhat feeling that bitter sweet but I'm excellent at the end of it all. I know so many graduates this year and I do wish all of them the best within their futures. It's just the beginning of a new chapter and it will be nice to just sit back and witness their growth in their next stage of life. Congratulations Graduates of 2012 and Congratulations to our second oldest son on accomplishments well done!
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs.