So … it’s happened: youngest boy has graduated.
He’s got the world by the tail and his whole life ahead of him.
And for all of us there’s a little bit of the now what?
Oh, there’s a summer job on the horizon and college classes in the fall.
But that’s not it.
I feel a shift.
It’s not a bad thing, but still, it just feels different.
He’s 18. He’s graduated. He’s ready to go.
But maybe not just yet.
He’s responsible and polite, obedient and kind, most of the time anyways.
He’s pedaling hard and the training wheels fell off long ago.
In pondering on it, I think growing up is a bit like learning to ride your first bike: Think about it. Your parents help you pick out the right bike for you and someplace soft to practice on, just in case you fall, and you will. You play with the gears but, more importantly, you find comfort in putting your feet on the ground as needed. You practice on your balance, venturing out a little farther every time. Sometimes, you get cocky and take an embarrassing spill. You discover that saving your energy means you can coast when the conditions are right. You know this but, in the back of your mind, you never forget how to stand up and pump as hard as you can if the situation requires it. And all it takes is one or two times to learn that some roads are better traveled in pairs and with eyes wide open.
He’s pedaling … and we’re learning to let go.
And if we can manage it, I’ll be happy of myself, too.