The Last Child Graduates
...from high school. This Thursday. And as glad as I am to be done with the public school system after 21 long years, a big part of me isn't quite ready for this to be over.
Tonight was Ben's Baccalaureate ceremony, a tradition which, as a Christian parent, I'm glad to see still going strong even in this 'politically correct' age. Our kids need all the prayers and support they can get as they go out into a world that is at best uncertain, and at worst frightening. I must say, however, that with young people like him and his friends in it, I am much more optimistic about its future.
Tonight was also the first time I noticed how tall my son has grown; why, he must be six feet now if he's an inch. And while I still want to think of him as my little boy, the face looking back at me from the pictures I took of him in his cap and gown is that of a very grown-up (and handsome, if I may brag just a bit) young man.
When did he grow that little patch of facial hair, and why is he so much more muscular than I remember?
I have felt small around him in recent months, especially when he throws his long arms around me and hugs me tighter than usual, and I wonder: is this a preview of the day---perhaps not all that far off---when I am an old woman who needs his protection to shield me from harm?
As any parent who's been through this rite of passage knows, there are a lot of emotions at play here: pride, joy, love, anticipation, relief.........and more than a touch of wistfulness.
As much as Ben does NOT want me to cry at graduation, I know I'm going to lose it the instant the first strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" waft across the field. I've been playing the song on iTunes, over and over, to try to get the weepies out of my system beforehand, but no---not gonna happen.
I guess I'm entitled; after all, an entire era of my life is coming to an end. The cool thing is, for every end, there is a beginning.......and now I'll get to see how this last precious child of mine turns out.
So here's to beginnings: for graduates everywhere, and for the parents who are trying to wrap our minds around this new stage of our lives as we watch our newly-minted adults take this first big step into the rest of theirs. And from somewhere deep inside, if we reach down far enough, we may even find the strength to encourage them to run.Last edit by Joe V on Jan 13, '15
About VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN Guide
Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 26,647; Likes: 43,135
RN and blogger extraordinaire; from OR , US
20 year(s) of experience in LTC, assisted living, geriatrics, psychJun 1, '09Thank you for this, Marla.
My youngest graduates Sunday.
I remember stroking his cheek while he slept, as a child, and marveling it was so soft.
NOT soft anymore, with the facial hair!
I still recall his baby-voice tones.
His voice now, though not deep and resonant, has the timbre of a young man.
His shoulders are broad, his feet HUGE!!! (size 14 )
When I head to bed, I first stop by his room to remind him to go to bed before midnight (my two somehow are nocturnal!).
He'll invariably flick his eyes from the computer screen he's been studying, to meet mine, grin and say "OK," even though he has no intention of complying.
But, he gets up in the morning in time to make it to school, and earns good grades so I guess I can't be too hard on him.
I clearly remember my path starting at age 18: graduated, entered college, went to , graduated, married, worked.
I made the best decisions I knew how to make, and my parents basically left me to make my own decisions.
I find myself doing the same: bowing out, if you will, and letting him choose his own path.
Not that I don't voice an opinion, mind you!
But he (and our oldest, for that matter) needs fewer and fewer apron strings, not more.
I don't know if I will cry on Sunday; I didn't when our oldest marched two years ago. We'll see; we are all cut of different cloth.
Blessings to all, and congrats to the grads!Jun 1, '09Ok you two, knock it off. My youngest won't graduate for another . . . . 11 years!!! I'll be . . . .62
stephJun 1, '09Quote from Spidey's momOk you two, knock it off. My youngest won't graduate for another . . . . 11 years!!! I'll be . . . .62
Serves ya right! See what happens when ya play games at your age! :roll
CONGRATULATIONS Marla and Di and the Graduates!
Beautifully written post, Marla. Thank you!
Evokes memories of when our two graduated both high school and university. Those were indeed special and proud moments in time.Jun 1, '09Oh . . .and you and your dh have put "playing games" behind you, have you now?
I too congratulate Marla and Dianah for riding out the ups and downs of parenthood (teenager-hood) and being such great but not perfect parents.
I hope the graduation ceremony goes well and you can cry Marla - it is ok.
My daughter's graduation last year (a year already?) . . .was marred by the valedictorian's speech chastising a girl in the senior class.
Marla - do you have a FB account? Because then Dianah and YOU could post photos of the ceremony and the graduate standing between good old mom and dad. And I could see your handsome son.
stephJun 1, '09Nope, don't have Facebook (I do have MySpace and Twitter accounts though). I'm going to have Ben upload the pics so I can post one on my profile page.......I can't believe how big I was last fall when the current photo was taken. I've dropped a little over 40 lbs. since then and don't like that picture anymore!Jun 1, '09Quote from VivaLasViejasI thought MySpace was for 12 year olds trying to look like 18 year olds.Nope, don't have Facebook (I do have MySpace and Twitter accounts though). I'm going to have Ben upload the pics so I can post one on my profile page.......I can't believe how big I was last fall when the current photo was taken. I've dropped a little over 40 lbs. since then and don't like that picture anymore!
stephJun 1, '09That's why I only use it to communicate with my kids, who all have their own pages even though they're certainly well past that age themselves.Jun 1, '09Quote from VivaLasViejasI was teasing. Although my daughter keeps her MySpace private so she can be more wild and crazy and cuss and stuff - her FB page is pretty tame because Mom can see it.That's why I only use it to communicate with my kids, who all have their own pages even though they're certainly well past that age themselves.
#2 son does not have FB, only MySpace - #1 son does have FB and refuses to use MySpace.
#2 son won't let me on his MySpace.
stephJun 1, '09(((marla & di)))...both posts made me tear up...
and left me feeling sentimental and contemplative.
so many emotions, yet so few words.
there's something about our boys, yes?
we're very blessed.
leslieJun 1, '09Quote from dianahThere is a commercial for Hulu with Dennis Leary where he says "bliggity blogs" . . ."Facey Spaces" . . . "Tweety Pages" . .Heh.
Dh refers to all such online communication aids as "My Face."
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