For Grads and Their Parents

For a brief period each June, in homes across the land, worries about mortgages and jobs and everything else that defines daily life take a back seat to one of those “memorable moments” a child’s high school graduation.

That occasion tells parents they can’t ignore the passage of time. The trusting eyes of the tiny baby who looked up at them, the small hand they held on the first day of school, now belong to a young adult likely taller than they are who dons a cap and gown this month and heads for the stage to accept their diploma.

We rarely see ourselves getting older our own high school graduation doesn’t seem that far away. But there’s no doubting the rushing by of time when you hear the name of your child announced as a member of the graduating class.

For parents, bittersweet is one of the words that mark the occasion. Others are pride and happiness, along with sadness that this stage of your child’s life and your own is gone for good.

For the members of the Class of 2018, this moment marks the end of the last days of “childhood.” While they may never have it so good again, the graduates are now officially on the path to building a life for themselves, whether the next step involves college, work, travel, or military service. They’re on the doorstep of being on their own, responsible for their own decisions and for what their life becomes.

It sounds appealing and it certainly is but it’s serious business, too. The life we make for ourselves on our own is the only one we’ll have. Just as it is for parents, graduation is a rite of passage for the graduates themselves that’s what all the robes and decorations and parties signify. It isn’t called commencement by chance. It’s the beginning of the rest of your life. And not much is more exciting or scary than that.

Our advice? Consider what lies ahead as well as where you’ve been. Think of what has gone into all the years that brought you to this wonderful occasion. Be safe. As you’re focusing on the future, don’t forget to thank those who helped you reach this landmark. And remember to cherish each day as you live it.

Congratulations, and best wishes for a wonderful, exciting future.

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