High School Graduation Means Letting Go

The minute your child enters kindergarten you are already prepping for milestones. Yet, when it is time for their senior year that is when reality sets in. High School graduation means letting go.

This is where I was most recently with our youngest and several years ago with our oldest. All sorts of emotions start to come about. Often, I think I’d like to revert back to accidentally stepping on Legos. This would allow me the opportunity of reliving their childhood once again.

Sounds extreme doesn’t it? I mean who would want to step on tiny hard plastic pieces? Or maybe I’d like to push my kids on a swing again at the park.

Reminiscing Good for Your Soul

I remember when our kids were little I thought that graduation seemed so far away. I don’t think that I took my time for granted, but the progression of time speeding by seemed unlikely.

Back then being part of their moments with growing up felt like time was standing still. As if I was in a time-lapse photography session with each milestone that was reached. Teaching our kids how to walk or my husband teaching them something that I didn’t know how to do.

It was all part of the process as a family. Being connected on a level so deep that the thought of them growing up seemed so far away.

It makes me think of costume shopping with each Halloween that came along. The excitement of buying snacks for their class or when they were in sports. To be that mom that was relied on.

The years have most certainly gone by. Teaching them how to drive was a white-knuckle experience for sure. I can still feel myself putting my foot on my imaginary brake.

Yet, I yearn to put on that same brake on this moment right now. To stretch it out even longer. You see that would mean keeping them by my side a little bit longer.

Letting Go Builds Character

Those high school years mean letting go bit by bit. With each passing month it is done reluctantly, but necessary at the same time. Letting go builds character.

Independence is instilled to make the transition even smoother. As a parent we want the best for our kids. Part of us wants to teach the importance of being independent and the other part wants our child to need us.

So where is the happy medium?

It is in the understanding that not only are we letting go of our kids, but our kids are learning to let go of us. Who is it more difficult for then?

The answer it is hard for both parties. My reality is accepting that I must let go. Maybe not completely, but enough to allow them to stand on their own two feet.

That is the way of the world. This whole time from birth to graduating from high school was to serve as preparation. To be ready to leave the nest so to speak.

Leaving the Nest

Soon I’ll be part of a statistic called an empty nester. I may not be crazy about the word empty, but I will be happy knowing that we were part of that preparation together.

In the meantime, I will hold on to every precious second before college comes beckoning at our door. Again, sooner than what I would like. I’ll continue strolling down memory lane a little longer. Holding on to each wonderful moment from the past.

Reflecting on its wonder like one captures a firefly in a mason jar. Maybe it is like saving a flower petal in between the pages of your favorite book. To be discovered again later years down the road.

It will never be letting go forever, but more like stepping back a bit. Knowing that I will continue to be needed, but in a different way. If that means allowing our children to thrive by growing up with this newfound freedom, then so be it.

To let go is to love if even from a distance. The beauty is that the memories keep the bond going, but so do all the future milestones in the making. Now that is worth letting go for.