Monday, June 4, 2012

Time to fly

 I'm now the parent of a high school graduate.  I'm now the parent of a high school graduate.  I'm now the parent of a high school graduate.  There, I said it three times that makes it real and makes me feel better because the last few weeks have seemed somehow surreal.

There are a few things I am tired of hearing from well meaning people.  So if you see me, please don't use either of the following phrases:

1.  I bet you're so sad that Anna has graduated and is going off to college.

2.  At least you still have two daughters left.

In regards to the first statement--no, I am not sad!!!  I am so proud of Anna and everything she has accomplished.  For those who were there Friday night, you saw an outgoing, well adjusted, clear spoken, beautiful young woman who has been groomed for seventeen years for THIS time in her life!!  She is supposed to finish high school and move on to college; I'd be sad if she wasn't!  I am oh-so crazy blessed that she has drive and ambition, goals and dreams, and her sights set on something bigger and better.  I am thrilled that she is going to college.  My heart leaps when I look at her and see how strong her roots are and I pray every day that her wings are just as strong.  It is her turn to fly and like that saying from the 70's, I'm sure she will come back-not to stay but to visit often!  ("if you love something set it free, if it comes back to you it was yours if not it never was...")

Response to statement #2--yes, we are crazy blessed to have three wonderful, unique, and individual daughters.  One leaving doesn't mean I won't miss her.  Those of you with two or more children will fully understand that no two are alike (even twins, right Nancy?).  Anna was an only child for seven years, my only child to have that experience and as such our relationship is just a bit different than with the other two.  I will miss Anna--the sharpness I feel in my chest at this point in our lives isn't lessened by the fact I have two more children.  However I am looking forward to the new relationship I will develop with Melissa and Jessica as they get to experience home life with our adjusted daily family life with only four at home.  My time will be less divided as Anna exerts her independence at college while I can devote more time to Melissa and Jessica on an individual basis.

I may be confident that I have prepared myself mentally for Anna going away yet I'm a mess when I think about the little daily things that I will miss, the sweet good morning mama said in her morning voice, the jumping in the van and holding my hand as she bubbles on and on about whatever event she has just finished.  But mostly, I'll miss her presence, you know that time when nothing is being said but you just know the one you love is close.  So when you see me and there is fluid flowing involuntarily from my eyes, you'll know--I'm not sad--I'm actually overjoyed at this new phase in my life but I'm also a little nervous after all I am a Mom!

So my advice today for all you parents with kids whether they're two months old or entering their senior year...spend every moment you can with them.  When they cry-hold them, when they ask you for your time-give it to them, when they begin to fly-be the wind that carries them to the next place in their lives.  Take advantage so when it is their time you can say "I've been crazy blessed and know I've done my job well; go now and be what you are supposed to be."


  1. Beautifully written. Love it! Best wishes to Anna as she begins the next phase in her life, and congratulations to you and Ted for having raised her so well.

    I'll be in your shoes in a couple of years and, honestly, I'm dreading it. Like you, I'm excited for my own to begin a new chapter in her life; but I'm going to miss her daily presence like crazy. I, too, had an "only child" for 8 years and so we share that special relationship you mention that you have with Anna. It's going to be hard for me. I hope I can handle it with as much grace and dignity as you obviously have.

    You're a great mom, Dana!

  2. Written Beautifully!! As Brittany is on the threshold of starting her life in the next few years I often feel guilty for not feeling sad. Like you I will miss her but I am also excited for the new adventures she will have! You have prepared her well Mama!! Congratulations

  3. D. A., You are a amazing wife, mother, citizen and child of God. (and writer)

    This from my Goodearth tea bag:

    We cannot always build the futue for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. FDR 1882-1945

    I though of you and Ted when I read it and felt grateful to you both for who you have brought to the planet.

    'Appolo stood on the high cliff. Come to the edge he said. It's too high they said. Come to the edge he said. We'll fall they said. Come to the edge he said. And they did. And he pushed them. And they flew.'

    One high flyer, two to go. I believe you will push and I believe they will fly.

    Please continue to keep Mike and me informed on the family.