About one short year ago - actually quite short now that I think of it - we graduated our second daughter from high school.
As common as it sounds, the years do fly by. That once tiny preschooler finally buckles their own seat belt and rides off to an adventure of their choosing. Literally.
Ah, what’s a Mama caught in this stage of parenting to do with changes just around the corner?
Whether your daughter or son heads off to college or work or another plan, I think our heart strings pull hard in this season. I know mine did.
So if you and I could sit over a cup of tea (herbal please), I would get comfortable and allow you time to do the same. Then maybe the conversation might include this....
Friend, first of all, motherhood is not over.
Whoever dreamed this notion of the finish line at 18 yrs old certainly did Moms a favor. Focusing on that goal often fueled us to senior year, am I right? But pull back the cap and gown a bit and you’ll find children who still need us...just differently.
So Mom, you and I are not done at graduation. We begin again in an entirely new way.
And if we spend these next few months worrying, mulling, examining every single past decision for said graduate, we rob ourselves of the celebration right in front of us.
I understand deep down you wonder if it was all enough, if it was all balanced, and for crying out loud, are they prepared for what comes next!?
(Insert wailing, stressing, Googling ‘what to do if/when’, and other coping mechanisms sometimes known to Moms in this stage)
Your success as a Mom lies not in choices your young adult makes.
Your success lies in showing up day after day, taking parenting steps again and again, whether you actually feel successful or not...and even if you make mistakes. Truth speaks up here and reminds me God holds both you and your efforts in his hands. Give yourself a bit of grace.
And Mom, this milestone is yours too. Have you considered this?
Long ago you chose to partner with the Almighty.
Your heart in His, you both looked upon this human soul, made in his image, and whirled off into an adventure. At times you sensed confidence, at times you experienced failure. Yet overall, I imagine you tried, giving time and effort.
So now that our tea has cooled and the conversation might be closing, I would leave you with this thought --- pause enough to celebrate these days.
Celebrate who your child is becoming, celebrate the journey which led you here to graduation.
Give voice to your love, your care. Receive this God-gift for yourself as well.
Laugh, cry, and trust you’ll have what you need for the next steps ahead.