We just dropped off our son for college the other day. Even though he is not the first to graduate, the emotions are just as predictable. Regardless, I am feeling extra melancholy. Why is this so tough for me? The answer should be obvious. My beautiful boy was born with congenital heart disease. After 3 surgeries before he turned 3, he grew into a strong and busy “all boy” who loved long cargo shorts, dirty flip-flops and t-shirts over what he called “handsome clothes”. Fast forward 18 years to the present day young man who can be charmingly sweet and typically teenage moody. I am so proud of all that he has become…….
So my dear William, I want to send you off with some sage advice. You know I had always believed in making every day your best, set the table for dinner, use your ‘pleases’ and ‘thank you’s’ abundantly, dress properly before you leave the house, etc. It was all about setting your standards and self discipline. You have the power to make your choices and those choices can be life-changing. Life isn’t about having dreams, it’s about creating them. I had always known family was what I wanted and I was going to be the best mom and wife I knew how to be. Life obviously threw me some curveballs but I have gotten stronger, more sympathetic, more patient and more tolerant than I’d ever thought I could be because of them. So learn and grow from adversity that comes your way – it already has and is bound to again. Your family will be your roots to support you as you grow in your journey and never loose your curiosity and your humor.
I’ve grown and learned so much from my children. We like to think that we teach them, when in reality they teach us. Yes, raising children is the hardest job out there, but I’d give a kings ransom to start all over again. So as I watch you, my dear son, cross the stage, gather up your diploma and move on into the next exciting faze of your life, through blurred, teary eyes, I will silently wish for the days when I tucked you in at night in your little zip up sleeper and simultaneously look forward to all that awaits you in the future.