You think about the milestones and the accomplishments that lay ahead. And it feels as if you have all the time in the world, that somehow, those things in the future will always be just an indistinct, hazy dream.
But the years have a way of gaining speed, the moments building on each other like snowflakes in an avalanche.
NJROTC Awards Night ~ 2016-17 Rifle Team
Now that we are on the other side of our first-born's high school graduation I think I can say I have gained some perspective. There is relief that it is over.
All those eighteen years of looking toward it in wonder, like something just out of reach, something to be all at once dreaded and pursued, it is finally over and we can move past. And it wasn't really all that scary. It wasn't really all that terrible.
It was a progression, a door to step through, a page to turn.
For myself, I allowed my emotions to seep through my hands as I ironed his graduation gown and the gold sash. I mixed my emotions into the chocolate cupcakes I baked and decorated that day. I wrote my emotions on his car windows in the form of bright window paint and words of congratulations.
My emotions stuck in my throat the moment the high school band began to play Pomp and Circumstance. When they called his name to walk the stage all his 18 years flashed through my mind and my mothering heart leapt with pride and love and grief and relief.
And we go on.
He goes on.
(see him there, in the very center?)