Settling into the stands above the high school football field transformed into graduation venue I finally expressed a sigh of relief. The gown was ironed and the cap appropriately decorated. Transcripts had been ordered, various papers filed to the proper departments, schedules arranged and we had gotten my mom to her seat uneventfully. Everything had worked just as planned and the time had come.
As strains of Pomp and Circumstance played, hundreds of excited graduates poured onto the field. Searching the waves of purple gowned students it took me a while, but I found him. Standing so tall and looking so handsome my heart simply burst with pride. He didn't see me as I clicked the shutter of my camera from some 30 yards away and in an instant he was again lost into the flood of purple robes.
And that's when I realized... the time had really come.
The principal began to speak what I'm sure was a most inspiring speech, but I didn't hear a single word as emotions bounced through me with amazing intensity. Pride and elation somehow mixed with fear and loss as I traveled through time and found myself once again holding my baby boy...
Looking down at the sleeping baby on my chest I wondered who this little person was. As he opened his eyes and gazed into mine, my heart grew to know a love only a mom can know. We sat together for hours, getting to know each other and I dreamed of what the next 18 years would hold.
Brought back to the present moment by the playing of the National Anthem tears began as memories swirled all around me. The droning of the school board member was once again lost and I instead smiled at the kidergartner who ran from class and flung himself into my open arms. Burying his head into my shoulder he whispered how much he had missed me and I told him I had missed him just the same.
Visions of a giggling baby flitted through my mind right next to a proud boy receiving his driver's license. There he was running the entire soccer field to score the winning goal which somehow changed into a toddler tripping over a hose only to have me scoop him up and make everything all better. The chaos in my mind took me through school projects, summer vacations, afternoons in the pool, driving lessons, and bagel dates after preschool all while I peered through sobbing eyes trying to find that baby in a sea of purple robes.
And then there he was, walking across the stage so confidently and smiling as he shook the principal's hand. One of many accomplishments in his life, I know he is prepared to head out on his own and that this is only the beginning. I'm ready to see him live and follow his dreams, yet a part of me doesn't want him to go. My arms feel empty as I know he no longer turns to me when he falls, but instead picks himself up and moves on... just as we taught him to.
|1st day of Kindergarten and last day of High School...|