It’s Just a Graduation Until It Is One of Your Own

| by Shannon Williams

It’s a time of transition for our family. In ten days our oldest son graduates from high school, a milestone that feels a million years away until it’s not. 

Devin is a great kid. Typical first born. Black and white, high-achieving, ambitious, generally easy to have around and fun to be with most of the time. I am not anxious to get him out of the house, but I know it is time for him to go. 

At every step of the journey, going off to kindergarten, transitioning to middle school, making his way into a new high school, he has been ready. It has been hard to be anything but excited for Devin because the time was just right for him to take the next step. 

The same is true of this transition, but it feels different. I don’t think it is him. I’m pretty sure Devin is ready—or at least he will be by the time August rolls around. It’s me. 

I know millions of parents have raised their kids and helped them transition into that final journey to adulthood. I know that it is our job as parents to prepare them to go off on their own. The problem is that my intellect and my heart are simply not in alignment. 

I know that it is time, but I can’t help but feel a little sad—perhaps nostalgic is the better word. 

Nostalgic for that little guy who wanted to snuggle up and read the Thomas the Tank Engine story for the one thousandth time; for those afternoons spent at the park, skipping stones on the lake; for marathon monopoly battles and fast-paced rounds of Kemps; for conference championship games and team celebrations; for Sundays together at church and inside jokes at youth group; for Saturday night nachos and ordinary dinner conversations. 

I wonder, how can those days be behind us? 

The answer is simple. Ultimately, I’m pretty good on the intellect part of this equation. We are entering a new season with new, unknown adventures ahead of us. In fact, friends tell me that hanging out with your adult children is even more fun, especially when they no longer live at home. I am certain my heart will get on board with that. 

In the meantime, I think I’m going to sift through a few more little Devin pictures and work on getting my head and my heart in the same position. 

In ten days, it will be time to kick-off the transition. If you are so inclined to offer a prayer, I will take it. I am pretty sure I am going to need a little help with this alignment project. For many of you reading this, you have looked to me for leadership of the projects we have completed together. Over the next 10 days, I will be looking to those of you who have blazed this raising kids trail ahead of me, sent your children off to college and have found joy in your hearts on the other side. Thanks in advance for showing me the way. 

Congratulations, Devin and the class of 2017!

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