It was my son’s last full day of high school today. My husband, who isn’t Sean’s biological father, asked me how it felt to be the parent of a child finishing high school.
To be honest, I hadn’t really considered how I felt because I so rarely live in the present moment. If he’d asked me what my worries are for the future, I would have come up with a long list of concerns. I keep this list alongside an equally long to-do list. Doesn’t mean I don’t have hopes and dreams for him, I do. But it is the weight of responsibility and my lack of control over certain outcomes that keep me up at night.
So how do I feel? Enormous relief that he has completed twelve years of education and happy that he has thrived both academically and socially during his high school years. The former has not come easily. My son is the hardest-working and most disciplined person I know. The results are hard-earned.
Not only do I love my boy with all my heart, but I sincerely like the person he is becoming. A deep thinker, kind, and conscientious. A good conversationalist. He is a person I genuinely admire.
Even though he has a long way to go, there is a definite shift in my parenting, a letting go as he gains more independence. A short while ago, I reminded him that I wouldn’t be around forever and that he needed to start advocating for himself. In order to do that, I need to step back and give him space. That’s the hard part.
How do I feel? Happy, sad, hopeful and more than a little wistful. Mixed emotions for sure.
Well-done, my boy. Whatever you do in this life, do it with integrity and great passion. Aim for an authentic life, not an easy one.
All my love, mom.