My friend’s daughter is graduating from high school this month and moving onto college, and I am totally tripping out. Granted, my friend is much, MUCH older than me. She was in the 8th grade when I was in the 6th grade, after all. She practically raised me.
I keep thinking about what it’s going to be like for them. How they were a family of four and now they’ll be a family of three at home. How the younger daughter will kind of be an only child for a couple of years now. How it will feel to move their daughter into her dorm and how hard it will be not to say, “I feel like it was just yesterday that my parents helped me move into my dorm,” over and over again. How the graduation announcement looked nothing like the generic, gold-embossed, school-color blaring announcements of yore, but instead like this:
It’s along the lines of a baby announcement or an engagement announcement, and coincidentally it seems this girl—this young lady—is right in between both of those milestones right now.
And I know you’re all thinking this so I’ll just say it: Isn’t she GORGEOUS?!
Bringing it back to MrsMouthy, today was Rocco’s last day of preschool, and we all met at a park instead of the classroom. I know that this is the day I’ll see playing before my eyes as he walks down the aisle in his cap and gown, thirteen years from now: Rocco amidst his other preschool friends, covering a dying bee with flowers so it would be happy in its last moments. Rocco and his friends hiding in a giant tire and intermittently popping up like prairie dogs to yell, “Boo!” The five-year-olds seeing how many kids could go down the slide at the same time. Cole beckoning friends behind a tree so he could lay out the terms of yet another spy mission. Rocco and his friends around a confetti-coated cake, asking their moms if they could have another piece. Leo crying because he didn’t get a green balloon, and Rocco finding a friend who had one and trading in his own blue balloon for the green one to give his baby brother. Leo screaming and kicking as I dragged him to the car while Rocco talked about what he was going to do the next time he and his preschool friends all get together. Me not having the heart to tell him we this group won’t all be together again.
How do you do it? How do you ever let your babies grow up and leave you? How do you go on being a mom when your kids no longer need you to do most of things moms do all day?
Sometimes I think I am more afraid of my boys all graduating from high school than I am of my own death.
I remember when I headed off to college feeling a bit sad that my childhood was pretty much over and everything I knew was going to be changed somehow. But I was so excited about what lay ahead that I don’t remember dwelling on the sadness or being paralyzed by it or anything.
I just hope that my boys’ inevitable exits from home come on gradually, and that I am not as paralyzed by the goodbye as I think I’m going to be. I hope that, along with the anxiety and the sadness, I am also excited– not just for my boys and the futures they have chosen, but also, somehow, for me.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Roasted butternut squash, potatoes, and sausage
Cookies with coconut, white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips
(Those who do not like coconut, which is all of my boys including my husband, can choke down some peach cobbler with ice cream instead.)