Happy of myself

So … it’s happened: youngest boy has graduated.

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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.

Categories: Family, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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35 thoughts on “Happy of myself

  1. Aw, sniff-sniff. There’s just nothing like seeing our little boys all grown up. Congrats to your son, and best wishes for a bright future!
    (As for the little guy in the video, I’m just glad I don’t have to keep up with HIM! I’ll just bet he’s a pistol.)
    Have a great weekend, MJ!

    • Thank you, Dianna. I will pass along your good wishes :). Isn’t that little guy something else? Future motivational speaker, methinks!

  2. What a beautiful analogy! Congratulations to all of you!

  3. Simply delightful. How handsome he looks all decked out in is cap and gown!

  4. Oh MJ, what a beautiful job you have done with both this handsome young man and the feelings of a mother learning to let go. How quickly it happens. People warn us, yet we are so caught up in the business of life that it doesn’t completely sink in until….

    Congratulations to you both!

    • Thank you, Renee. That’s exactly the message I was trying to impart … “don’t blink.” It comes upon us rather quickly and then – bam – they’re off. MJ

  5. Congrats to the new graduate! I think my sister doesn’t quite know how to handle her son having graduated last week. But, she still has a 12 year old at home.
    Have a wonderful weekend, MJ!

    • Thank you, Kathy .. yes, that’s the case for us as well b/c our oldest graduated 8 years ago and we had a 10 year old at home then, too. Now the 10 is 18.5 and ready for the next step. Here we go! MJ

  6. Your son and my Grand-son off pedaling into their new lives
    God Bless

  7. So did you cry at all while writing this? I dreamed (last night) that we moved my second-oldest into his dorm and I cried the whole time in my dream.

  8. A happy occasion tinged with just a little bit of sadness … it isn’t easy letting go of any of our boys, but there’s just something about the last one pedaling away. I can tell you from experience that it will never be the same … but in some ways it will be even better than you have imagined. Congratulations to all.

  9. Congratulations to your “little” boy on his graduation! And best wishes to you in adjusting to that shift. It takes a little getting used to, but you’ll be just fine.

    • Thanks, Terri. I know that you know – really know – what this feels like. Exciting and bittersweet, all in one. MJ

  10. MJ, this is wonderful. The picture of your youngest as a tike on a trike (ha!) and in his cap and gown is priceless. The video is a hoot! That kid will go far, if he is able to keep that passion alive.

    Here’s to the shift – a new adventure awaits you all.

    • Thank you so much, LD. He was so excited to take command of that bike; I used to rollerblade next to him and he loved to race. That look he’s giving? A smile off to the right? Still makes it. And yes that little guy in the video is just priceless — I thought he was perfect for this post.

      Hope you are feeling better 🙂 MJ

  11. Congratulations! Mine made it also, although it was c-l-o-s-e. Great job on the parenting and the forward thinking to be able to let go….even if all you really want to do is hold him close. How’s the hubbs feeling?

  12. I just nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award:) Happy Saturday:)

  13. Yes! Raising kids to be independent and to think for themselves is the hardest job of parenting…it is to make yourself non-essential. I know my kids want to have me be part of their lives. But if I was gone, they would be ok…that’s the trick, isn’t it?
    Congratulations on doing a great job, and enjoy watching the next phases! As you’ve been through this with your oldest, you know what to expect. I hope you’ll find yourselves enjoying the empty nest too. That was the biggest surprise for me…that I could be happy for my kids moving toward independence, and at the same time, enjoy my/our newfound independence. ~ Sheila

    • That’s just it – we are supposed to teach them how to go out & get it done. And then they do!

      It’s an adjustment and since he’ll be at home and working/attending college, that will be yet another adjustment – different hours etc. We’ll get through it but it’s taking some effort, that’s for sure. Thank you, Sheila, for your vote of confidence! 🙂 MJ

      • Hey, you’ve done well so far…I know you have the ability to complete the next phase of launching! And even better, I know you’ll enjoy becoming a couple…takes a while for it to feel right to have two at the dinner table and not more, but once you transition…what a joy! ~ Sheila

      • Well, the nice thing is, we never stopped being a couple – we’ve always gone on “date” nights but now we have a whole new schedule to adjust to. I will have to learn how to cook less, though 🙂 MJ

  14. That must be difficult, to watch him leave! I haven’t been there personally, but I can imagine! But you also must be so proud! A lovely tribute to his (and your) accomplishment.

    • Thank you, Tobi. It’s something everyone tells you to be ready for and then you get busy with life and sort of forget about it – and then – here we are. ~Sigh~. MJ

  15. I’m already dreading this day with Sophie. But congratulations to your son. Such an exciting time in life!

    • You will find yourself filled with a myriad of emotions — pride, sentiment, joy, and a bit of grief. Grief for the child they were but pride for who they’ve become. MJ

  16. Congrats to your son, MJ! Isn’t life just like that? As soon as we adapt and settle into our new normal, it changes again. Enjoy this new season.

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