Congratulations on your graduation!
By Miriam Klein
May 31, 2014
This is the time of year when we celebrate graduations. So I want to recognize and celebrate your own recent graduation. Congratulations!
Not a graduate? I beg to differ. We are all graduates, not once but multiple times in the course of our lives, and each one is a cause for celebration.Your first graduation was your birth, and it is still celebrated yearly with the Happy Birthday song. Your child's birth was another major graduation in your life as well as your child's. Suddenly you've become totally responsible for another person's life, and you experience joy, despair, and deep fatigue in levels unknown in your previous life. You may miss your previous stage of your life at times, but at the same time you're committed to this new adventure. Congratulations!
As your child grows, each stage is a new graduation for both of you. He starts to walk, and suddenly you've lost your baby but you're the parent of a toddler. She starts preschool, and you both have to learn how to separate, to learn that you can have happy lives apart and still come together as a family. This knowledge becomes crucial as your child moves further and further into the world. It seems that our job as parents is to become increasingly unneeded as our children master the skills they need to become independent. Every milestone your child passes is a milestone you experience in your own life as well, and each is a cause for bittersweet celebration. The flip side of this bittersweet feeling is the joy you feel when you know your child can make his or her own way successfully in the world, and the deep love that comes from a lifetime of guiding, supporting, cheerleading, hand-holding, and letting go of this person whose life is still so intertwined with yours. You don't stop graduating as your child grows. The celebrations become deeper.
So whether your child has recently mastered sleeping through the night or finishing his or her homework, congratulations to both of you! Congratulations for all the ways you've grown as you parent your growing child. Not all of this journey has been fun, but the rewards are incredible. Your child is the hope of the future. You are the hope of the future. We are all the hope of the future.
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