Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Graduation means more than getting a diploma. At least it does to me.

Like any big event, holiday or anniversary, graduation can be a time for reflection. I decided to do a bit of reflecting today. And yes, I needed a tissue when I wrote this letter to my beautiful son Connor, who graduates from high school on Friday.

May 18, 2011

Dear Connor:

It struck me this morning just how significant it is that you’re graduating from high school. It’s such a passage, not only from Littleton High School to UNC, but a passage from the comfortable routine I’ve come to love.

Let’s be perfectly honest. Neither of us will probably miss some of the things we won’t need to do any more.

I’ll never have to wake you up for school again. We both know how much fun that’s been; especially the squirt bottle phase.

I won’t be packing your lunch any more.

I won’t ask, “do you have any homework?”

There will be no more talent shows to attend, no more school conferences, no more swim meets, no more banquets.

No more picking you up and dropping you off. No more bringing a book or a lunch to school that you forgot at home.

I know it sounds crazy, but I’ll miss those moments. Just like I miss the days when you eagerly reached for my hand and held it tightly when I walked you to elementary school, I’ll miss our comfortable routine.

I hold tight to the memory of these times because I love you. Your buoyancy, your brightness.

And I’ll miss you. I’ll miss your presence. I’ll miss our predictable moments. Even the frustrating times (you can be forgetful and easily distracted, but I think you know that).

You’re such a special person, Connor. You resonate joy. You’re generous. You’re giving. You’re caring. You’re so so smart.

It’s so hard for me to let go sometimes, because it’s all gone so fast. I remember your first day of kindergarten, when you tried to come home before the day was over, just because you assumed you could.

And there’s a part of my noggin that is utterly incredulous that you’re graduating from high school and you’re going to college in a few short months.

It seems like it wasn’t that long ago you were racing around the house with a towel pinned to your shirt, pretending you could fly. I close my eyes and I can see you creating intricate fantasy worlds, playing with little plastic army men for hours, coming up with silly walks down the hallway.

Now you have the opportunity to turn your grown-up dreams into reality.

And I’m so proud of the person you’re becoming.

You have absolutely no idea how much I love you, how I completely honor the time I’ve had with you to watch you grow, how proud I am of your accomplishments, and how much I value the opportunity to call you my son.

I know you yearn for independence, so I know I've done my job well. The best graduation gift I can give to you is being given slowly - I'm learning to let you go.

I think that's a gift you'll appreciate. We both will.

That being said, I know you know I’ll always be here for you, because I love you.

Congratulations, Connor!




  1. Oh....that is really nice!

  2. Thanks so much! I did a bit of boo-hoo-ing when I wrote this today. I had a completely different intention when I sat down to write, but that can wait. I completely appreciate it that you read my piece - best to you, anonymous!!