Graduation is a high emotion celebration. I saw parents and grandparents wiping tears of shock and joy, graduates beaming because they are final done with the rigors of high school, and the younger students hiding a tinge of jealousy, yet cheerfully congratulating their friends.
By Nicole Nowitzki
I only broke down into tears a few times, but when the senior video began, I had to look away. When the first senior’s picture showed up on the screen, accompanied by a baby picture, I immediately had an out of body experience because I started thinking about submitting pictures of my babies for their senior video.
Each and every time a woman comes up to me to ask questions about the boys, their parting words are either, “My Goodness!” or “It goes too fast! Don’t blink.” Then, I tend to hum Kenny Chesney songs for the rest of the day, but it is true.
While living each day, it drags along, but then you look at pictures and prepare another birthday cake, and you can’t believe that your baby is growing up so quickly. Where does this time go?
Many of the moms that I’ve talked to said that no matter how old their child gets, they still remember them as a toddler. It becomes ingrained in your mind, and they never grow beyond these tiny children that need their mommy for everything.
Sometimes, I tend to rush it. I want them to get to the next milestone because I delight in exchanging one type of crazy for another. You can’t wait for them to crawl, but as soon as they show signs, it’s time to prep them for walking. Then, before you know it, they are starting Kindergarten. You marvel that they are already old enough to be in school, but they are still small, right? Then, homework, sports, and life takes over. This whirlwind starts to spin like the Wizard of Oz, and before you know it, you are sitting in a reserved section at graduation.
That’s when questions start to fly through your mind: Did I prep them for life? Are they going to make it without me? Will they make good choices when they don’t have supervision? Are they ready? Whether they are or not, it’s too late to change anything now. You just have to pray that when they fall, they either get back up or ask for help. Believe in the ideology that you did your best, and you can only hope that they are a well-rounded, productive member of society.
It sounds incredibly crazy to say this to a first time mom, but you only have eighteen years to mold them. They are going to run, resist, and refuse, but that’s part of growing. Let them fall while they are in your home because if they live in a sterile environment their entire childhood, they will fall when they leave your home. I would much rather have them make a poor decision about not turning in their homework than have them make a poor choice at work and get fired. Peer pressure sucks, but they need to learn about the world, positive choices, and negative people somewhere. Let them do this while you are still there to counsel them.
Let them grow up, let them be creative, let their individuality flourish, and try not to shed too many tears watching it happen. That’s easier said than done!