I apologize for taking so long to post this on my site, but it has been difficult to write out and express my feelings about such a special day in our family. On Thursday, May 17th, 2012, my son walked across the threshold of life by becoming a high school graduate. When he first entered the building, he was my 18 year old son who’s been with me for more than half of my life—and when he walked out, he became a dream fulfilled.
In April 1994, at 18 years of age, I gave birth via Cesarean to my firstborn. Having gotten knocked up at the age of 17 and becoming a mom at 18, I didn’t show much promise. As an only child, I had never even changed a diaper or made a bottle. Everything about being a responsible adult was foreign to me—add on being a mom and I pretty much felt that I was going to hit my breaking point before I had a chance to really live my life.
The first time I saw his face, I knew I would do anything I needed to to ensure our survival. It didn’t matter that I was a teenager. It didn’t matter that I would have to climb a mountain with incredible weight on my back. All that mattered was that I was not going to be a statistic. Somehow, some way, we would make it.
We laughed together. We cried together. We grew up together. I was the best mom I could be, and I did it mostly alone during his younger years. My family made sure that they supported me even though they didn’t agree with my choices. They kept it real and never sugarcoated anything. I didn’t have the type of mom that would allow me to go out every night while she watched my son. Hells no. She made it clear that my son was my child and my responsibility. So from that, I learned responsibility.
When my son got chicken pox, I got chicken pox because I never had it before. I was so wet behind the ears, but he loved me unconditionally. He never knew how “panicked” and “nervous” I was being his mom in those younger years. He was such a happy child and that made me happy.
So when I tell you that the tears flowed like a river when I saw him and the rest of the Class of 2012 in the auditorium–that is an understatement. All of that fear I had for 18 years was now being released, and he did it. We did it together.
Next is college and he will be embarking on a new life many miles away come the Fall. Right now, I am just trying to soak and bask in his greatness until it’s time for him to truly part and set out on his own adventure. I am sure I will cry then, too. And he will be embarrassed. But I won’t care because I love him just that much.