Mom’s Letter To Her Final Graduate

Dear Peach,

Remember when your puppy would grab a shoe and wouldn’t let it go until you tempted him with a new toy? Even then, he tried his hardest to figure out how to hold onto both, unwilling to surrender a speck of joy. You resemble this as you stand between your high school graduation and your college experience – excited about the future but hesitant to surrender the familiar. 

You’re burning the candle at both ends – capturing time with friends in a desperate frenzy to make last-minute memories.  But time is measured and no matter how much you squeeze into each day, you may never feel replete.

Most days I hardly see you and conversations are limited to relaying logistics. When you surprise me with an unhurried kiss, I melt a little as I try not to count down the number of loving interactions that remain before your departure.

I reassure you that all will be well, while hiding the fact that I’m trying to bolster us both. You think you’ll miss me more than I’ll miss you, but the fact is that you’ll be having entirely new experiences that aren’t meant to have me in them. I, on the other hand, will be in the same setting I’ve always been in, minus you.  My landscape will be missing a beloved irreplaceable feature while you will be painting on a blank canvas.

Encouraging you to embrace this next step is bittersweet. It’s like putting down a good book. Even though I know I’ll love the “Motherhood” sequel in which you become an adult, a small part of me will always favor the first installment, because that’s the one in which I fell in love with you.

Being your mom is a privilege that came with a time stamp. You are our family’s grand finale. When you walk across the stage to accept your diploma, my heart will quiver as my mind plays a highlight reel in the background of the ways in which you have punctuated our lives. 

Who would we be without your steady, stabilizing personality, your enormous ability to forgive, and your signature sweetness? How would we have learned new dance moves or kept up with pop culture and vast music genres?  And what would have become of us without our Resident Peacemaker?

Peach, you have assets that you haven’t acknowledged yet. They’ve always been there, twinkling like tiny stars, just waiting for an opportunity to burn brightly. Don’t be scared to shine. The light from within you will illuminate your path and lead you to authentic joy.

Soon we will pack up a portion of your life and drive it into your future. We won’t be able to fit all that you want to bring along. But soon enough you will find that the only things you actually need to succeed are carried within. 

When doubt creeps in and spoils your confidence, remind yourself that you haven’t made it this far in life by accident. Replace your ‘what if’s’ with ‘even if.’ No matter what happens, you will handle it and I will be right here backing you up. 

Trust yourself. Trust Life. And remember that you are exactly who you are meant to be. 

Love, 

Mom 

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