I'm posting a day early this week because on Sunday I will be busy attending my baby boy's high school graduation. I am beyond proud of all that he has accomplished in his almost eighteen years of life. Yes, he is a smart kid. Yes, he has worked hard, but really what I'm most proud of is that he is leaving the nest with an incredibly strong morale compass, an intense and fierce loyalty for those he cares for and a curiosity and passion for the things that spark his interest. He's a nice person - willing to give people the benefit of the doubt; willing to lend a helping hand; and in most cases willing to give the shirt off his back. That, to me, is more important than any of his academic accomplishments.
As mothers we struggle to find a balance between pushing and pulling. We want our children to grow and succeed, yet we hover to protect and shield from the hardships of life. I realize that today I am not done being a mother, nor do I want to be, but somehow I feel an immense pride in realizing that I've come out on the winning side. Sure there were bumps in the road, and it was sometimes messy and scary and frustrating, but it was also overwhelmingly rewarding and full of a love it is literally impossible to put into words. Today I am not just proud of my son. I am proud of myself. Why is that such a hard thing for people to say? Can you think of ten things about yourself that you are proud of? Can you even write them down? I tried it and it was actually uncomfortable. Why is that? I am positive that this is something we should be more cognizant of. It's okay - no - it is healthy to be proud of your accomplishments. It is healthy to be proud of who you are!
As I was leaving an appointment today, someone congratulated me on the upcoming weekend, and I realized he meant the "collective we" and not just my son. It was the first time I stopped to think about the accomplishment as a whole. It made me laugh for a second but then it hit me on a deeper level. Raising children has been the hardest thing I've ever done. And I did it. And I did it well. And I'm proud of that. And I am proud that I'm proud of that.