I always knew this day would come. I’ve been preparing for it for eighteen years, so I’m not sure why it feels surprising right now. Every day for the last few weeks, as I’ve watched my newly independent, slightly mouthy high-school senior leave my house, I’ve shed more than a few tears. It’s not like he’s leaving the planet. He’s just graduating and going to college…..just 45 minutes away.
Transitions and new beginnings are like Hallmark commercials; doesn’t matter what they are, but they bring me to tears. Saying good-bye to a special time, knowing it will never be repeated, is heartbreaking. I’ve done it so many times in my life that I’ve learned to do it quickly and move on to the next step and find the positivity in it. This one is a little harder. The gut-puncher here is I’ve just completed the most important thing I’ll ever do. For the last twenty years, I’ve meticulously and lovingly prepared and planned and cooked and cleaned. I’ve co-parented two challenging, intelligent, curious boys who have brought their share of hard decisions. I’ve been the heart of my family; the problem-fixer; the boo-boo kisser; the broken-heart mender. All these years, my job as Mom has been to create little people who can grow up to be big people who can take care of themselves. Now that they can, it’s left me a little broken hearted.
I’ve been reminded that our job as a parent is to raise our children to leave us. This is the first time in my life I’m devastated by a job well done. However, as I wipe my tears, I remind myself that while my little one goes off to become the person he is meant to be, he is not the only one graduating next week. I am also off to take the next step in my journey here. While my main Mom duties will change, it’s an opportunity to reinvent Me. What makes Me happy? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Maybe I’ll find a new hobby? Travel somewhere off the beaten path. Take up cooking classes with my Honey. I’ve started and stopped many careers while being a wife and mother but in the end I always chose to put my family first. It’s exciting to figure out what my new life will look like. I have no idea what that looks like today, but I’m excited to figure it out. I guess we’re all growing up.