OK so sappy lyrics aside, The past few weeks have been very strange. My youngest children, the twins, have graduated from high school. I am at once very proud of them and yet saddened by the fact that my relationship with them is going to change.
When you first have children, the thought of them graduating high school and going to college is such a distant concern, that unless you are starting a college fund for them, you don't even think about it. At least I didn't. "That's 18 years away who needs to worry about that now?" I know everyone says this, and while you do take notice as they grow there is nothing that slaps you in the face with "where did the time go" then your last child graduating.
Being there for Honors night, taking hundreds of photos, and talking with the other students and parents was a great time though you could tell those parents who were there for their eldest children and those that were there with their youngest. There was a huge difference in attitude between them. Everyone was happy, but there was that same touch of sadness that I now feel as well in those who were at their last Honors Night.
It really wasn't until Graduation Day that I really started to feel it. As I sat in the stands of the soccer/football field, a couple hours earlier than I really needed to be there, it started to occur to me that this was probably the last time I would be at the school, certainly the last time I would be there for my own children. No more wrestling meets, no more soccer games, no more parent teacher conferences, no more working the concession stand (though I don't really feel bad about that...) The longer I sat there looking at the stage and waiting for the ceremony to start the more I thought about all of the endings. The ceremony finally started and while it was very nice, long, but nice, as my sons were called by name and walked across the stage I had a very hard time focusing the camera on them through the misting in my eyes.
I know there are a great many things that are just now starting... college, jobs, cars, just to name a few and sharing those things with my sons will be enjoyable and fulfilling. It will be very different than what has come before. All of life is change, anyone who thinks it isn't is deluding themselves. Though you can try to prepare for the changes you know are going to come it's the ones that sneak up on you that are the hardest to get past.
My boys are almost grown now, almost legally adults and while they may never need me the way that they did growing up. I am looking forward to the new challenges that we will face as a family... together.
I wish I had been writing this blog when my daughter graduated. It was a completely different experience and being able to compare the two posts would have been enlightening. She is growing into a wonderful, strong, and smart woman. I don't tell her that enough though I am going to make a point of doing so from now on. I may even try to remember what it was like watching her graduate and write a follow up post on it. Though with my memory I hope I video recorded it...
To all of you saying goodbye to your kids K-12 years, you have my sympathy. I feel your pain and I share in your triumph. We have a shared experience, and you are my brothers and sisters. To those of you who are not this year saying goodbye for the last time, savor every experience, every moment of the remaining years. they do go by way too fast and you will one day miss their daily presence in your life... even the concession stand.