What “should” it be?

I’m going to have to swear off social media for a few days.
I keep seeing my friends with children the same age as Thing 2, children the same age as Thing 2 I’m “friends” with posting about graduation and it’s breaking my heart.
I’m excited and proud for my friends who share their pride and joy about this important milestone. I’m excited for these kids who count down the moments until they’re “free”. (Just stay in high school a bit longer, y’all, the real world can sometimes suck balls.)

I should be doing the same kind of sharing. I should be expressing my pride and joy that Thing 2 is graduating from high school. She should be sharing this roller coaster ride that her peers are on.
Should.
Should is a real bitch of a word. It’s mean and hateful.

I trusted Thing 2 enough to make the choice to get her high school equivalent. She trusted that choice. She appears to have no regrets. I trust that, too.

Graduation isn’t for the graduate.
Graduation is for the parents.

Graduation is for this particular Mommy.

The day Thing 1 graduated was of profound importance to me. I have never been more moved in my adult life as I was that day. To watch my baby take that ceremonial walk was more powerful than I can put into words.
Since that day, I’ve waited to experience similar feelings for Thing 2. My disappointment is bigger than I realized.
I’m not disappointed in her.
I’m disappointed to miss out on that moment with and for her, those feelings about her.

I believe witnessing your child’s graduation is a rite of passage for a parent in way a child can never understand the importance of. A sense of closure as well as a new beginning.
I’m wondering how I’ll experience that with Thing 2. What will that look like? Because it won’t look like a blue cap and gown at Colonial Life Arena in a few days time.

Perhaps it will surprise me when I least expect it.
But that frightens me! If it happens when I least expect it, how will I know the weight and magnitude? How will I know it if I’m not expecting it?
What does a rite of passage look like if it’s unexpected?

I can’t answer these questions.
I can only love my girl like I always have. I’m going to keep trusting her choices. I’m going to trust that we’ll experience our own particular rite of passage and it will fill me with equal amounts of awe and pride and never-ending unconditional love.

I celebrate with my friends in theory…somewhere in my deep in heart. I just can’t do it with photos and memories and hashtags and the like. It’s too painful.
Is that selfish? Or petty? Or simple self-preservation?
Dunno. Don’t care.
Just know I can’t look at other people’s babies in caps and gowns right now.

Thing 2 sometimes reads my words…so these are specifically for her:
You’re savvy enough to know this isn’t about you so I hope it isn’t hurtful for you to read. Your choices are yours to make. I support your right to make choices. I have faith in your ability to make mostly good ones. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I love you more than the moon and the stars.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “What “should” it be?

  1. “Should” really is the bitchiest. I hope you do something very nice for yourself this weekend. 🙂

  2. I have two friends who have reasons to dislike graduations. Possibly their personal troubles have been yours… At any rate, we are old enough to not have to follow rules or other regulations! I support your well thought out choices! Loved the shoes on the last post, too!

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