Facebook reminded me today that two years ago my daughter was graduating from high school. I’ve been watching the posts from friends whose children are graduating this year and the pride they feel. And, they should feel pride and elation and some tears.
It’s a rite of passage, but really, the hills only get bumpier after graduation. I’ve been speaking with a lot of parents of graduates whose students went off to college, only to return because of distance, lack of effort, lack of money, lack of drive or a host of other reasons.
For me there was no choice when I graduated. It was off to college. That I transferred after one semester at Ithaca College, was almost scandalous. It was a great decision for me, but it was still college.
When my daughter came home from college I was okay with that, she was still going to attend SMCC, but then last semester she decided that she’s not ready for college and would like to work.
It took an adjustment in my thinking to understand what she was thinking. My brain kept thinking, college, college, college, but hers was telling her something completely different. She wanted to work and have a plan for her own life. (How dare she?)
I have come to accept that now that she is working a multitude of jobs and although I’m not sure there’s career potential in them, I think she is happy and content to be making money and contributing to society.
Sometimes I think as parents of little ones, we try to imagine what they will do as adults. We should know that we have no clue. We can push, tug and beg for one direction and it won’t matter. In the end, we want our children to be happy and content. Successful doesn’t hurt either.
Congratulations to all of the graduating senior parents, who will most likely experience an empty nest for a little while. Encourage, support and love your kids regardless of the decisions they make. I wish them all the success and happiness in the world.
Congratulations to the Class of 2016.