So last week I shared with all of you sweet folks some words of encouragement about the days of Pre-K graduation because my Facebook and Instagram feeds were blowing up with sweet babies finishing up their preschool days. Well, today it’s all about high school graduation. Those preschool days were long, but the high school years fly by.
For many of us, what happens next goes something like this…
In a blink of an eye, your gangly freshman is about to be dropped off at college – which, as you recall, is full of men with beards and women who you might mistake for moms on the playground – the same people who gave tours to you and your little high school junior and now they are about to share the same classrooms with her. It is frightening.
For those of you who are in this new stage of life, I have some thoughts for you and they are these:
That summer after high school graduation will be an emotional roller coaster for you. And for your child. Neither of you will know what to do about it or how to express it adequately to each other so instead there will be lots of door slamming, random tears, and even some name calling. You will find yourself in the middle of Bed, Bath & Beyond frantically arguing over the merits of an extra-long twin size mattress cover. There will be no apparent reason except that it keeps her from saying she is worried about not being able to get on the right bus on campus in order to get to the right building for class. And it keeps you from saying that you hope you taught her everything she needs to know about _______ (seriously, fill in the blank with whatever – you will have a plethora from which to choose).
Trust me on this. Not only have I lived it myself, but most every summer of my professional career has been spent talking moms and dads and high school graduates off the ledge as they make this transition. And the beauty of it is that this is exactly what is supposed to happen. It is the natural progression of life, not for everyone, but for many.
It is like the Mama Bird who has had enough of sharing the nest with her overgrown fledgling and so she pushes it out into the sky – which is exactly what the little one has been eagerly anticipating would happen! But just when she does, Mama Bird has a moment of panic – about the same moment that the little bird does too – so Mama swoops out of the nest just in time for the little bird to decide that she can flap her wings after all and she looks at Mama with a self satisfied grin and rolls her eyes that Mama is so _______ (go ahead, fill in the blank cause those eye rolls will come for 1,001 reasons). And Mama Bird’s eyes get soggy…
Sorry, somewhere along the line that analogy got way too human and real. But that is how this whole nurture, separation, growth thing happens. So for all of you who are in the throes of it, don’t panic. They will flap their wings and you will learn new ways of flying along with them and it will be glorious. But in the meantime, you might consider taking the doors off the hinges, refrain from watching home videos of when she was a toddler, and vow to not tell her that you can’t wait to turn her bedroom into an exercise room…at least for the summer.
Hang in there, Mamas.