Friday night we went to see Taylor graduate. Luckily we got to see her before the ceremony, because we never found her in the massive crowd after.
It truly does not seem like that much time has passed. I remember meeting Taylor as a little girl, and now she has grown up into a very BEAUTIFUL young lady. I got choked up a couple of times and said to Paul…”well you look at this?” pointing at my tears “and she is not even mine!”
I am thankful that Gavin didn’t have something that I had to attend which would ultimately lead to this pang that I have been feeling inside over the moving on of our three children.
Why is this I ask myself? The same thing I felt when I watched my sisters graduate, or my sister Kelly get married. I always thought my emotion was tied to the excitement of such events. But it hit me when I was listening to the graduating seniors give their speeches. They think they have it all figured out, standing at the finish line, with diploma in hand. In reality all the things we have been teaching them and preparing them for is finally laid out before them. And we as parents or older siblings have to let them learn on their own, make their own choices, guiding them less and less into the uncertainties that we each face as adults.
They start out as babies, needing us for everything. Next thing you know they are eating, talking, walking, brushing their own teeth, dressing themselves, helping around the house, reading, writing, expressing interest in hobbies and friends.
(a kiss for Taylor from Paul and Mammo, since we couldn't find her!)
We are there the entire time supervising, teaching, cheering, supporting only to wake up one day to the bittersweet certainty that our baby doesn’t need to be taken care of anymore and worse yet that we can no longer protect them from themselves and the world at large the way we once did. Once we were at the heart of their universe taking center stage, next we find ourselves sitting on the sidelines in bleachers of a crowed gym or auditorium.
(Gavin's grad party)
Maybe the pang is brought on by the nostalgia for each of their younger stages in life, and special moments we have shared with each of them. Or it could be just the pride that makes us want to brag to our friends. Paul ran into a co-worker at Taylor’s graduation. The guy asked who Paul was there to see and he didn’t just say my daughter, but found her name in the program and pointed her out. Heck yes, we are proud!
I am glad that for right now things will pretty much stay the same. Taylor will be going to college in town. Macey will be going to her same school, but as a 1st grader. And Gavin ….poor Gavin will be starting dreaded middle school. Life is good!