The end of an era.
It’s the end of an era. An era of new backpacks every year that morphed from holding Friday folders into ones with cell phones and laptops; an era of searching for perfect, colorful two-pocket folders to corporate-collegiate report covers; eighteen years of good and not-so-good report cards. No more Room Parent holiday parties, volunteering for fundraisers or donations to Athletic Booster Clubs. Gone are the ACT tests and campus visits. No more Parent’s Day celebrations and homecomings/spring formal dress purchases; Move in/out dates and housing payments are things of the past.
The end of an era because our “baby” is a college graduate.
And it seems like just yesterday when we attended this graduation.
And I’m not quite sure how I feel. I sure like the concept of being rid of public education and all its politics and bureaucracy. I’m looking forward to the “raise” the monthly budget will get now that we aren’t paying for rent, food, utilities and other “necessities” associated with higher learning. I certainly won’t miss worrying about whether they’re doing well enough to advance to the next level. Whatever that level was at the time.
On the flip side, closure is messing with my head.
This shift in perception accompanies a shift in how I look at my daughters…now, young women. I admit, part of me will always see them as young children, filled with precious “mommy-moments” that now exist only in memory and photo albums. From cherub-faced infants to awkward, angst-filled teens, my job was to protect, guide, encourage and nurture the delicate balance between dependence and independence. To provide cushioning to soften the blows of growing up, but resist the urge to overprotect and pick them up every time they fell.
But now, they’re both grown and aiming for specific targets in their own lives. And the best I can hope for is that their dad and I have equipped them with strong fletching feathers so when these little arrows are released from the bow, they’ll fly straight to those targets. All I can really do now is suggest, recommend, hope and pray.
As I watched College Girl accept her diploma, the realization that this was it, the end of an era, filled my heart with pride and my eyes with tears.
So, I’ve shot the last arrow.
It’s accelerating away from the point of origin.
Not far behind the first one.
To targets in the distance.