This past Sunday my daughter graduated from the University of Vermont. It was a day, both sweet and mildly bitter.
For her, the day seemed a little anticlimactic as she was obviously thinking about graduate school and moving on. She will attend NYU in the fall and is chomping at the bit to get there.
Still, graduation from college is a moment in time for summing up what has been accomplished so far. It is also a time for looking back and for most parents, a time to marvel at how quickly their son or daughter went from diapers to knocking on the door of graduate school.
It does not seem that long ago that I was rocking her at night and driving her to school and planning our weekends. My house once filled with the pitchy sounds of girls, now quiet except for the occasional groans of my aging Golden Retriever. I knew that this day would come, as a family we have all worked together for this day and now it is here and it is history. I suspect that my wife and I will linger a bit to savor the journey so far as I suspect many parents will do at this time.
I guess milestones like these remind us just how precious and finite our time with our children is. My daughter is not looking backward as I am and I know that this is what I want for her. Would I want her longing for her childhood with mom and dad into her mid-twenties, of course not? Nor do I want her letting her parents influence her decisions very much anymore because I know that she can never be really happy until she is fully capable of making her own decisions and taking care of herself.
Reach the writer at Hurlburt@wildblue.net