Our latest adventure: high school graduation.
This is a strange time. I find myself mixed with all sorts of jumbled emotions. On one hand, I’m so incredibly proud of our daughter and the young woman she’s grown into, and excited to see how she tackles her own adventures; but on the other hand I’m terrified to let her go.
Thankfully, this past month has been a total and complete whirlwind, so we haven’t had much of a chance to sit and think about what comes next.
But that’s life, right? It’s a library of amazing stories, and just like every great story, there has to be a start … and there has to be an end.
And just like a library, our lives are divided into segments — some segments of my life’s library are longer than others, some segments hold my attention, some I sprint past because they’re difficult to think about, some are a bit “fuzzy”, and some parts of my library I can linger in for hours getting lost in the memories.
But life has phases, and bookends: Potty training ends the diaper phase, first words start the “please stop talking” phase, the first day of kindergarten, the last little league ballgame, 8th grade promotion, the first heart break…
And high school graduation.
I understand how significant this is … but I’m struggling.
I know this is a ginormous celebration … but part of me is sad. When her name is called, and she walks across the stage to receive her diploma, who will I see? The amazing person she is today, or the little girl who would crawl up on my lap as we read Sesame Street stories?
I’m sure it’s a combination of both. Of all. Of the newborn who fit in my hands and smelled like every amazing thing I’ve ever known; of the little girl throwing a tantrum because we took her to see Santa Claus; of the skinny kid with blistered hands doing giants around the uneven bars; of the awkward middle schooler struggling to fit in; of the stunning beauty driving off to prom…
God has blessed us. And we will celebrate.
There’s going to be a party.
We have food. We have the house in amazing shape (thank you very much, my love). And we have family and friends on their way.
Today, we’re going to do everything we can to make it her celebration, about her accomplishments, about her success, about her lessons, and about her future.
But parents that have been through this will appreciate that, in a lesser way, this is a celebration of our accomplishments too.
We did a lot to get her here. And our role is far from over — it’s just changing a bit.
I can’t help but think that this is where our story really starts.
This is how we, a relatively young-ish couple, start another phase of life.
This is how we begin our empty nest adventure.
And to be honest … I’m a little scared. And a little excited.
And I can’t wait!
Congratulations, kid! We are so, so incredibly proud of you!