Preparing for Graduation: The Routine Of Life

by Brenda Yoder, MA

preparing for graduationThis week we’re preparing for graduation.

This Friday my oldest son is graduating.
Up until now things have been routine.
Days have been predictable and routine like every season we’ve walked through.
This weekend as he shared in church, he reminisced on things that have influenced him.
  “Being in a small town, there’s accountability.
Because if you mess up, everyone knows,” he said.
My son declared it instrumental in helping him make choices growing up.
 There’s value in everyone knowing your name.
In the routine moments of life, somewhere my boy became a man.
A man who has surrounded himself with friends who hold him accountable.
A man who began walking out of my life years ago as I realized I needed to release him to be all he is created to be.
This week we’re preparing for graduation.
We will celebrate, say good-bye, and let go.
Every mother releasing her son knows its different than releasing a daughter.
Somewhere along the way your role changes as you step aside to let him grow and figure out who he is.
There are times to step back so he can develop strength.
Times where you have to be strong and push him into the storm so he can figure out how to survive, all the while watching with a life raft ready at a moment’s notice.
Times where you must step back and let his father instruct and discipline.
Times where you still touch his cheek with a kiss because he is still a little boy inside a man-size body.
Times where the best words are, “I’m proud of you.”
This week we’re preparing for graduation.
This boy has been a big brother, his sister’s best friend, and a son who has held me accountable when my actions or words did not match what I believed.
He has been the voice of reason when needed.
In the ordinary and routine moments, he has grown into a man who is ready for the next step.
This week we’re preparing for graduation.
 I believe raising kids for graduation and good-byes like these lie in the mundane and routine, in the moments we live when we think no one is watching.
One thing this child and I know how to do is forgive, trust, and give second chances.
Important moments for us have included the words, ” Will you forgive me?”
I have two more boys to raise in routine moments.
Six years from now, sitting on my porch swing, I will be saying good-bye to my last knight in the household.
I’m reminded to not rush these days on or to close my eyes to what is ahead.  Each child is one to be fully seen and known.  They are gifts in the making.
I’ll shed lots of tears this week along with other moms and dads celebrating the milestone of graduation.
I’m thankful for each tear of joy, sorrow, and sadness along the way.
Each one a part of the process of releasing a child to fly, lead, and grow.

                     Don’t miss the moments each day.  Let the wind blow on your cheek as the sun slips beyond the horizon.

Read a book, sing a song.  

Let your boy dazzle you with his charm or your girl snuggle in your arms.

Shed a tear, laugh out love, and kiss a cheek.

And let the mundane and routine bring blessing when the last good-bye is said.