Pomp and Somewhat Disconcerting Circumstances

T gradIt’s that time of the year for both teenagers and their frazzled parents. Graduation. Is it really possible that my little boy is actually graduating from high school already? Where did the time go? And, what exactly is going to happen next?

Graduation represents a time of transitions and major milestones not just for our teen, but also for us, as their parents! A time filled with joy, excitement, and hope for our child’s future. But I’m painfully aware that it’s also a time when parents experience stress, worry, and anxiety. We worry about the seemingly small issues like:

  • Ordering and sending out graduation invitations
  • Keeping yourself emotionally together during the graduation ceremony
  • Planning a graduation party
  • Prom
  • Making sure all the expenses don’t break the bank
  • Praying that my kid doesn’t experience Senioritis so bad that she screws everything up just before she leaves for college!

And, there are the larger, keep-me-up-at-night issues like:

  • Will my child be ok in a new city when she leaves for college?
  • Will he successfully adjust to the new college environment?
  • Will she be safe?
  • Will he ever come home?
  • Who will I argue with everyday and what will I do with all this extra time now that my teen is gone?

We feel simultaneously ecstatic and horrified during this major transitional period. Parents of graduating seniors are essentially forced to let go, whether we’re ready or not, and it can be really scary and unsettling. There is a reason, after all, that I refer to raising teens as Perilous Joy! But, fear not, my friends because you are not alone. There are many, many of us in the same situation, feeling exactly the same way. It’s normal, and guess what? It gets better. As with all transitions, we must often go through some rough spots before we can appreciate the true beauty of the situation. And when it comes to graduation and seeing our teens through to the next amazing phase of their lives, the true beauty lies in watching them transform into the mature, responsible, and well-rounded human beings that we raised them to be. So, kudos to you, parents. For you have touched the future, and you can now bask in the brightness of it.

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