Somewhere in the last 18 years, my youngest child grew into a wonderful young woman. It seems a miracle at times and yet unthinkable that she will be leaving our nest. High school graduation approaches and with it the inevitable transitions ahead. The future holds college, and the road to opportunities fulfilling a wide horizon of hopes and dreams. The ultimate parental mission comes to a test.
The days of going to kindergarten round up, wiping runny noses, recreational soccer, softball league, girl scout camp, school concerts, and slumber parties passed a bit too quickly. Suddenly we are juggling financial aid and dorm contracts. What a journey, and a blessing it is to be a parent in today’s world.
Yes, we are busy in our day and current age, but we have grown up with the philosophy our parents had for us, “We want the best for my children”. Is it too much to want to give our kids a good life? Have we spoiled them? At this moment, as I look at the young woman who is so very excited to embrace her future, I know that we have done all that we can to give her a fair chance at life.
So as she fills the spare room with items for her dorm, I feel like weeping. I want the snotty nosed kid back, the temper tantrums and the big hugs from the chubby cheeked sweetheart I could cuddle with on my lap. Just for a moment today, as she smiles and thanks me for buying her those dorm items, I see that small child is still there. Yes, she still needs me but her wings are primed for flight and I must give her the push she needs to soar.
I know that come August she will call, or text with news about her new adventures. As any of us, I will be excited for her, yet I know I will go to her empty room and sit just to feel a bit closer to her. I will most likely cry as I hold our dog wanting so desperately to see her room filled with her dirty clothes, or her schoolbooks scattered across the floor. I will yearn for the days when we sat and read books at bedtime, laughed about life and shared dreams of the future.
The future is now, the journey before her is graced with opportunities for all the greatness our world can offer. Yes, she is ready and I know I am too. My parental duty to nurture, guide and encourage comes to a test as I encourage her gently out of our nest. It is the dream we all have for our children. If we are to give them the world, we need to let them experience such.
Our future rests at the fingertips of our youth. The confidence and motivation for realizing their fullest potential is my prayer for our graduates. The miracle of growth, maturation, of transition arrives in full force. Watch out world! The class of 2011 has crossed the platform accepted the future in the form of a diploma and promised to live life to the fullest. Watch them soar!
Never mind that I can’t see the screen as I struggle to complete this article. Yes, tears of joy, of happiness and the miracle of parenthood are also a symbol of graduation. The tears are a natural consequence of loving someone so much that one wants to hold them and encourage them forward all at once. How lucky to feel this way, to know love so very deeply. This too, I pray will be part of each graduates future; to love deeply, and completely and unselfishly for love is the greatest accomplishment.
Congratulations to all 2011 graduates and many blessings for all the future holds’ for you.
Maria Peth is a wife, mother, teacher, writer and certified Angel therapist, connect with her by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org