By Christa D. Reed
When your kids are young, you always think you will have all the time in the world to teach them everything they need to know before becoming adults. Then, life happens and your days are filled with constant activities, homework, school projects, sports and basically the day-to-day running around that happens to anyone with active and busy kids! Suddenly, time is flying by and you find yourself planning their high school graduation festivities and wondering how it all happened so fast?
My twin boys recently graduated from high school. I tried very hard to keep it together most of the year. I made it through senior photos, senior recognition nights, concerts, and one of my twins was even the lead in the school musical! However, I think it was around spring break and after receiving their college acceptance letters when it all started to really hit me hard. All I could think was that my twins are 18 and are heading off to college in the fall. This is where every little thing would make me weepy and sad when looking at all the old photos and memories of their youth and knowing how much I will miss them. I would go to my youngest son’s elementary school program and tear up because it just seemed like yesterday my twin boys were singing in their 2nd grade talent show! (sniff-sniff)
Soon after that, I read an article from a mom who wrote an open letter to parents who are sobbing at their child’s high school graduation and it was though she wrote it just for me. It explained how she cried through her daughter’s entire senior year lamenting about how she felt sad about all the things they never got to do together and how fast the time went by. The author was more focused on her own feelings of loss than the excitement her daughter was feeling about her own accomplishments and achievements. It wasn’t until she sent her daughter off to college and saw first-hand how much she grew she was amazed at her maturity and independence and then realized that she was looking at her daughter’s graduation all wrong. She vowed she wouldn’t do the same thing to her son who was getting ready to graduate from high school this year. She would celebrate WITH her son and enjoy every single moment. It’s hard to soak it all in when you can’t understand what the commencement speakers are saying because you are sobbing so hard during the graduation ceremony.
So, that is exactly what I did! Instead of constantly crying and feeling sad, I was happy to celebrate with both of my boys and so proud of all of their accomplishments. Instead of focusing on how much I will miss them, I started focusing on how excited I will be to see where their life will take them throughout college and it will be great to see them grow into strong, smart, successful men.
So, in the words of my favorite children’s author Dr. Seuss…these are words to live by:
So be sure to enjoy all the fun that summer can bring and be sure to make lots of memories through all their milestones…