Thursday, May 15, 2008

Letting go of a Graduate.

It's funny the things that go through your mind when your life is about to change.

As you know, my daughter is graduating from high school on Saturday. She's a high academic achiever with stellar volunteer experience. Still, I wonder if we did everything right. Will she have what she needs to be a success? Have we given her enough love? Will the wings we tried to give her let her fly or will she fall? Does she have the emotional foundation that she will need later in life?

She has selected her college. Will it be the right one? A part of me wants to say "Stop the Presses!" I'm not old enough, mature enough, ready enough to have a child at this milestone! She's not old enough either - no matter what she says!

I want to bundle her up and rock her to sleep. I remember her first steps. Her terrible twos, and threes. I remember her other milestones, like the day she broke up with her boyfriend and declared "this is the worst day of his life!" when she was eight. I think of her first tooth, her graduation from Barbizon Modeling School, the first time she was on a horse, her learner's permit, the prom...

She tackled all of those things fine. I am sure she will handle what life throws at her with grace and courage. Right?

But a part of me wonders, who's milestone is this? As a parent, I wonder if maybe this crossroads is as much about her dad and I letting go of her as it is about her becoming an adult. She's got a great future ahead. She knows right from wrong, how to tie her shoes and she knows her home phone number. And yes, she knows how to cross the street and how to find her way back.

On Saturday, I'll be watching with the other parents as she goes across the stage. I'll be teary eyed (my trademark) but I'll also be letting go. We are still watching her grow up. Only in a different way. Now, I'll get to see if the wings she has been given are strong enough to let her fly. She's flexing them now. I see her perched at the edge of the nest, ready for take off.

And I believe she's going to do just fine.