I’ve reached the parenting milestone where every one of my kids is an adult but I’m quickly finding out my reaction to this coup may not exactly be the norm.
(Really Tina, you don’t say.)
As my youngest’s high school graduation loomed recently I became increasingly curious as the emotional Facebook posts amplified with fervor on my feed … while I continued to post apeshit OMGs over every Game of Thrones episode. At my attendance at each of the requisite senior assemblies I watched as other moms passed around tissues … while I checked my watch, gauging my arrival to work.
I scrolled daily.
Where did the time go???? (multiple punctuation marks)
I just can’t believe it! (multiple sad emojis)
So proud! (picture, picture, picture, pic…)
And there I was, still tilting my head (posting IN MY MIND of course because I ain’t that troll spitting on others’ sunshine) and musing Um, we’re all still talking about high school, right? Um, isn’t this supposed to happen?
Maybe there was something wrong with me. Had I become world-weary? Jaded? Cynical? I mean, for a school career, my kid had a pretty great run. He did well academically, he had impressive moments on the field and he garnered a few local headlines that at times placed him above his peers. Kudos. Back pat. Way to go.
Now, move on.
I’m sorry (not sorry) it’s just never been something I’ve ever thought was a big deal. In fact it’s been unconditionally expected for all of my kids. Truth: They all came from a stable foundation, had a roof over their heads, food on their tables and parents who kept external stressors to a minimum during their educational run. Getting through high school was their only job and while I enjoyed every moment on a bleacher and duly scrapbooked every news clipping, plainly put, I’m over it.
And (more truth): now more incredibly excited to see what they’ll all do when left to their own machinations.
There are certain moments I’ll always remember and keep in the forefront of my memory (God willing, despite being incapable of remembering where I was last week or where I filed those donation receipts) but there is without question one Mom Moment that I will hold onto for a very, very long time (you know, until the moment gets taken over by this kid running NASA or curing cancer or I don’t know, taking out the trash without being asked).
My paramount takeaway from my final kid’s high school experience was actually my own experience during his last hurrah, at his last assembly. As the graduating class walked in, swishing in their robes, past the parents, and onto the stage, I (looked up from my watch, naturally and) caught a glimpse of some other parents as he walked by. We live in a small Norm-from-Cheers town, where everybody knows your name and most, if not all, parents know each other by a history of six degrees of K-12 separation (or siblings). Many of these parents – better than me, who’d arrived early and had scored the enviable, photography-worthy aisle seats (unlike myself, sitting in the back, closer to my car) watched as my kid walked by. As he did, and since I had the panoramic of the auditorium from my vantage point in the back (totally planned) I caught sight of some parents and saw their smiles broaden. I scanned some more faces and saw it repeated, and witnessed the creases in their crow’s feet deepen, too. Some others applauded more heartily and fist bumped as he passed. My insides swelled. There was such tremendous and genuine affection and fondness in their expressions I found myself only watching the crowd as he passed. Those that know him were beaming and it was a vision I will never, ever forget (memory be damned – it’s in a blog now — #internetforever).
I don’t think anything could ever make me any prouder as a parent.
(In fact as soon as those wet towels are picked up I am soooo posting about it.)
Without question, I highly recommend reading the room whenever your kid walks in. It just may give you all the validation you’ll ever need in life.
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Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.
Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:
Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/
Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/
Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/