Emotions of Graduation

May 29, 2020 | Friends and Home Life

A Letter from a Mother to Her Son

Graduation season is upon us, and while it is traditionally seen as a time of celebration, it is also a bittersweet moment for parents and other significant adults as they watch their loved ones complete a part of their journey and look to the future.  It is a time to honor and recognize the achievements of your graduate, to reflect on previous years, and to think about the unlimited possibilities ahead.

The difference in graduations this year is the time we are currently in being advised to still be in quarantine, staying 6 feet apart and be aware of any symptoms related to COVID-19. Many of these seniors in high school that are graduating with virtual ceremonies were born around the time of 9/11. These teenagers are now struggling with trying to say goodbyes to their peers, teachers and mentors. It, certainly, is an interesting time today. Many of these seniors were not able to have a prom as well so they are navigating an entire new way of closing out their senior year in high school. Do the best you can to support those that are graduating and know that they, as well, deserve a celebration send off as they embark out into this beautiful world. Maybe the celebration is later on in the summer to make it special and safe for all those involved. Be creative, be sensitive but most of all send LOVE to them!!

Here is something special we have put together for you. Rather than look at each individual stage of processing an upcoming graduation, we’d like to share with you a letter written by a single mom to her son, on the night of his recent high school graduation.  Enjoy!

Dear Christopher,

Your graduation is over and you and your friends are off for a night on the town. I hope tonight will be a fond memory you will always carry with you. It is an achievement you can be proud of, and I am more proud of you than I can possibly say.

Forgive me for being kind of sappy about all of this. It is a major milestone and turning point for many reasons, and I have spent a lot of time these past few weeks thinking about just how much has happened over the course of your lifetime.

From before you were even born, there were so many things I wanted to teach you. I have tried throughout your life to share some of the things I have learned, and to talk with you about what it means to be a human being. A few things really stand out to me, and I’d like to share them with you again tonight.

Above all else, be a good person. Be kind to others, and do your best to do the right thing. Life is not easy at times, and it is often harder to do the right thing than the wrong thing. Know that it is important to live rightly. When you do make wrong choices (we all do) admit you were wrong and learn from the experience. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Take care of yourself always, but not to the point of selfishness or ignoring the needs of others. Be proud of yourself without being arrogant. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Tell the truth. Give to others without the expectation of return, reward, or recognition. Help those in need, and try to remember that all of us are the way we are for a variety of reasons.

Believe in yourself and have courage. There will be many times in your lifetime when you are uncertain or afraid. It is ok to be both of those things. Don’t deny your emotions. Share them with those you trust and listen to your heart. Be open to new ideas and possibilities. They exist everywhere if you are open. Try things you think you might fail at. Take risks without being reckless. Share what you have with others. Apologize when you hurt someone, even if it is as simple as just saying “I’m sorry.” Ask for help when you need it, and give your best effort on the things you do.

You are an amazing person. You have been given many gifts and your future is limitless. One of my biggest hopes for you is that you will live your life fully and allow yourself to experience the full realm of it. There will be joy, happiness, excitement, and peace, but there will also be pain, sadness, and despair. Don’t hide from those times. Have faith that you will always get through to the other side, and know that often times the best lessons in life come from the hardest experiences. Believe in yourself. You can do anything you put your mind to.

Lastly, always know that you are loved. You are the very best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life, and I have cherished being your mother. While all of this feels bittersweet to me, it is all normal, right, and good. You have a lifetime of possibilities ahead of you, and I believe in you always. I love you beyond all measure, and I am so very proud of you.

Love,  Mom

Graduation truly is bittersweet. There is so much promise and potential for a lifetime, and to know that before your own graduate does is a gift. Your own experiences, things you have learned, and the struggles you have overcome can guide them on the journey to their future. While they are at a whole new stage of their development, and there may be times when it seems the last thing they want to do is listen to you, know that you are heard. It may not be acknowledged or appreciated at the moment, but the things you say, and the actions you take, can shape their future in so many ways. Celebrate your graduate, and celebrate yourself. You are both moving in a new direction.

We will kick of June with some ideas on camping and how to be healthy around the campfire.