It does not seem possible that my baby boy just graduated from high school. This sweet little cherub face:
When Lil C was born, I thought this parenting gig would never end. And that we had ALL this time, and we could do so many cool things.
We moved to Mtown right before he started Kindergarten. Feeling the importance of Lil C being able to go all the way from elementary school to high school with the same kids.
On that September morning of 2001, the sun was shining for the first day of school. Armed with a new backpack, busting at the seems with sharpened pencils, new crayons, kleenex, glue sticks and a handpacked lunch, he took off down the street with an extra bounce in his step, because he was SO excited to get on the bus.
School has never been easy for Lil C. He has struggled, persevered,excelled..... only to struggle again. Pretty much from second grade on. We tried retired teachers as tutors, after school math clubs, even peer groups. Everyone kept telling us he would "get it" and that it would "click" for him.
It never really did. At least not to the point of ease in his schoolwork.
Once he started high school, he knew he had to buckle down, and pass EVERY class in order to graduate. Do you think that is what he did?
Uhm.......... NO. It finally clicked for him at the beginning of his senior year, and he really put his nose to the grindstone.
He did all the yearly credits that he needed for senior year PLUS an additional 4 credits to make sure that he graduated on time. I KNEW he could do it, he just had to apply himself. I am VERY proud of him, and that he pulled it off!
The weeks leading up to graduation had me so conflicted. How is it that my son had grown up so fast? Not too long ago, his entire world was baseball and XBox. And not too much before that a hug and an ice cream cone could damn near fix anything.
How could this little boy be ready to go out in the world and make his mark? And without needing my help? Is he going to succeed? Have I done everything to teach him the right way? Does he have all the tools he needs to fly away from the nest?
Over the past few weeks I have heard from several adults who have talked to my boy. The consensus is this: He has goals, he has dreams and aspirations, and is focused and he is ready to make those dreams come true. Half of me cheers inside, jumping up and down and fist pumping the air. So excited that other people see some great potential in my first born.
The other half of me? Still worries. And frets. And wants to hover. BIG TIME. I know I can not be the only parent out there that has felt this way. But they are not ME. And I cant help but think that I want more time. Even though Lil C and I butt heads (because he is so much like me). I want more time when he is just able to be a kid. And be silly. And hang out. And camp more. And cherish the time I had....... instead of being annoyed with his teenager antics.
I know I cant rewind time. I just have to hope I have done enough. And that I have been enough of an influence on him.
So to my baby boy, this is what I want you to know.
Take the scenic route
Respect your elders
Find joy in the little things
Treat others as you want to be treated
Always say thank you
Keep your anger in check
Consider all the options before you decide
Don't throw the first punch
Love with all of your heart
Never do a half ass job
CALL ME. I will come pick you up
Don't be afraid to be yourself
Be young at heart
Son, words can not express the pride I feel when I look at you. I am very proud of you, and what you have accomplished. I love you more than you can ever know.
It has been an honor to have guided you through the first chapter of your life. The decisions you make from here on out will shape the rest of your life so choose wisely. Know this:
I ALWAYS have your back.
Go get 'em kid!