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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I love graduations...I love the hats, diplomas, and most of all I love a good commencement speech. Add to that hundreds of happy graduates, grateful parents,tired but fulfilled teachers and you have the recipe for total happiness.

That is what I felt yesterday, total happiness. My youngest child, my Emma, graduated from high school. She gave a wonderful, inspiring speech....her voice never faltered. There is a reason she graduated on the day of the year with the most light...the longest day, the first day of summer...that is her metaphor, she is light and warmth, and never gives up. Then at the end of the ceremony she led the student body in moving their tassels from the right to the left.

....and just like that they were high school graduates.

My feelings were so intense, and so profound...I found it hard to breathe at times. When we first got to graduation, I had this overwhelming feeling of, "Well, it's here, and there is nothing you can do to stop it" I knew there was no way to get back the days of her childhood. My little girl grew up, and I started to cry. Her life is changing for sure but an enormous part of my life is changing as well. The days of small children are past. They were great days, and I will miss them. And just like all moms suddenly faced with their children growing hurts. As hard as it was, I loved it. I loved kneeling at the side of their beds, I loved the games, the gym meets, the recitals, I loved helping at their schools, I just loved being with them.

Over the years I brought crates of oranges to games, bought pounds of cookie dough and enough candles to light St. Patrick's Cathedral. I know I spent more time in my car than in my house.

We survived lost elections, lost tryouts, lost shoes, and lost games....we jubilantly brought home trophy's and ribbons, good report cards, and enough slurpees to change the economy.

It is a job I enjoyed so much...but it is a job that changes. it is hard to watch so much of the really sweet stuff just vanish...

Like the first time they don't need you to tie their shoes, or hold their hand. Or when they get their license and drive solo the first time.

Those are all good things of course, but that feeling, that feeling of obsolescence looms. You know the meaning of planned obsolescence right?

Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of deliberately planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete or nonfunctional after a certain period of time.

And that is a bit how I feel today....obsolete, I am a product designed for a limited useful life.

Dramatic? yikes!!

That isn't completely true, they still refer to me as 'mother' and they still love me...but the day to day stuff? As they tell me, "I got this, mom." And I am happy that they can fly on their own. That is a good thing.

However, that is a concept I am not doing well with today.

The truth is, I will miss kneeling at the side of their bed having prayer. I will miss watching them dance, play football, soccer, basketball, baseball, cheer, and do gymnastics. I will miss walking in the front door and seeing 25 pairs of shoes knowing that meant there were 25 teenagers in my den...I already miss their friends....I will miss making pasta for 10 then 20 and then maybe 30 teenagers.

I am blessed to have had the experience, but I will miss it to be sure...

My little girl Ashleigh was the dish who ran away with the little Trey dressed up as every character he saw on television or the movies and wore a suit to pre-school, my little Mikey who refused to go to first grade because he thought he was never coming home again, and 6 year old Emma.......standing with the coaches on the football field, her baseball cap on backwards with a whistle and a clipboard.

Those memories along with about a million more are mine....and I am so grateful for them.

But today I am a little sad...