This whole week on the internet, there have been posts, Facebook updates, pinterested pinterests on the woeful parent saying good-bye and good luck to their child moving on from his days at home. Life beyond the four walls you've given them, and their turn to leave our two arms that have held them for so long. There are new beginnings on the wide horizon! And always, these posts end in "hold me" "tears" and "where did my baby go??" Sometimes, they use an interrobang.
I don't get it.
So your child is ready to spread his wings, this is a good thing, right? I mean, this is evidence that we've been successful, no failure to launch at this house! All of us had that as our goal.
The first time our son mowed the lawn at this house, he looked like this:
And now he looks like this:
When we moved into our house, our dark-haired boy looked like this:
And this past Christmas, in front of the very same fireplace, we had someone who looked like this:
He stands above me now
when I once could hold him, the entire whole of him, with one arm.
The boy who has always talked of airplanes, flying, of someday being a pilot so much that every year at every fair, the first ride he would run to would be this one:
is now getting his dream with an Air Force ROTC scholarship.
Sappiness, nostalgia, poignancy, bittersweet, the march of time. What are people getting verklempt about? You mean going from this?
Is that it?
There's a trick to it all, you know. Pretend the days last forever. Go about your way and when his almost 6 foot frame reminds you of the months ticking down until he starts the life you hoped and dreamed for him, find that smile -- practice it in front of a mirror so that you look borderline lunatic. Do it, keep on doing it, until you convince everyone around you.
It's all good. Because it is all good.
If, as I've heard, tears and a lump in your throat that you can't swallow away show up on graduation day, remember it's just part of the beautiful messiness of life, of moments too big to contain, of a world that's been so good to us, why wouldn't there be tears from the joy and excitement?
Looking at these pictures doesn't bother me. Really. They're photos of my life, our life, together. Packed with love that is more than four letters powerful. Of time spent with my son that feels like he's been with me since my own life began. This boy lives in my body, my bones, my heart.
These pictures show you something, but not everything. How does an image capture love, pride, inspiration and gratitude that I have for the days shared with him? *insert interrobang* There's no painful heartbreak, just surreal disbelief of such a good life.
And I'm going to be fine.
That's another trick I've learned to maneuver through these days looming with high school graduation now too real to ignore, my 24-hour mantra, I'm going to be fine.
I love you, my boy. I am so proud when I hear people say as I walk past, "That's Alec's mom."
|I think these came to the wrong house.|
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