I just spent the last week in Burlington, Vermont helping my daughter move into her first ever apartment. She is my oldest and a junior at the University of Vermont and has decided to spend her summer there. I am excited for her and think she will have a lot of fun. On the plane ride home however, I was watching a young boy of maybe 3 across the aisle happily entertaining himself and thinking it does all fly by in the blink of an eye.
My youngest just graduated high school last month and heads off to Oregon State University this fall. I cannot seem to wrap my mind around having both my kids in college. Both my kids not being home. We live in Colorado as those who are familiar with my story know, so my kids are really flying the coop, and flying to opposite ends of the continent no less (helpful!). We have always encouraged our children to go away to school as we do believe there are advantages to taking that step leaving home. I did not expect their steps to be so big! I don’t know why it surprised me as I did the same thing, having attended the University of Colorado after graduating high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I wish my parents were still with me to solicit advice as to how to deal with it!
Everyone says children grow up so quickly. I, like most, never believed it. And, truthfully, when you are immersed in the day to day it can feel like an eternity. But then, out of nowhere, graduation happens, and they are on their way and your head is spinning wondering how on earth that happened.
I was interested to read in an article today that the word commencement means, “a beginning, act or fact of coming into existence, ‘from Old French commencement (sic) ‘beginning, start’.” I find that fascinating as my mindset through this time has been one of endings, the meaning of graduation is actually that of beginning. It is that though. It is the beginning of the next phase of life, the next adventure not only in one’s education, but in growth, experience, relationships, etc. They are about to embark on so many firsts that commencement can only mean the start. Our roles as parents are changing as well but are not ending. My daughter still reaches out all the time with questions about homework, classes, friends, jobs, cooking, etc. We are still so involved in her life for which we are so grateful. My hope is that my son will do the same.
Graduation is a start for all. And though it is not the end, I will miss my kiddos filling our house with life and laughter. So, cherish it because in the blink of an eye it does in fact pass.