I’ve been seeing that around lately. I can honestly say I do not wish I were a 2012 high school graduate, but I am really happy with the fact that I have one. Can you pick him out? That’s my firstborn walking onto the field for his high school graduation last Thursday.
He leaves for college in less than a month. It’s over, basically. I’m talking about for me. Not that there is ever a definite end (or beginning either, when I think about it) to raising a child, but you know what I mean.
Part of me wishes I could have made it to every swim meet, field day, concert, poetry celebration, etc. he was part of in the last 14 years. And scrapbooked it all. (I’m pretty sure I made it to all of those the years before that, when he was in preschool. I might have scrapbooked it all, too.) I suppose it was a mercy that I didn’t even find out about a lot of them until it was too late. Because it just wasn’t physically possible. I’m so glad I got to go (and his Dad and siblings) to many of them.
I’m glad I read to him. I don’t remember which picture books he insisted I read over and over, but I’m sure he did. I’m glad I read them again. At least some of the time. I’m glad he enjoyed reading the whole Narnia series out loud together and the first Harry Potter books, before he took off on his own with them.
I’m sorry we didn’t connect positively more often. He didn’t really seem to want the heart-to-heart talks. He always seemed so self-confident. I wish I would have built him up more anyway. I know he’s always been a competent person, but I shouldn’t have let his self-confidence mislead me into thinking he didn’t need my words of encouragement and support. (Though I admit it wasn’t always clear that I should support certain endeavors–I certainly don’t have 20/20 hindsight yet.)
Mostly, I’m so grateful that I got to be part of his life growing up. I’m glad I was there when he pulled the fire alarm, even if I had to admit it to the fire crew when they arrived. I’m glad I got to be the one to hold him during the drive to his grandpa’s orthodontist office after he knocked out his front tooth, even if I got light headed watching what followed. I’m pleased that he asks for back massages when he’s been working out hard and his muscles are in knots, even if it is after bedtime. I’m delighted that he made sure I got to know his girlfriend before she became his girlfriend, and that he let me help with his prom.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes mothering him, and I didn’t really have an easy time of it. But regardless, he’s turned out to be a pretty great person. And I’m honored, and so happy, that I could be his mom.