Happy Graduation Season! Mothers everywhere are trying not to cry while baby-adults are throwing off caps and dashing into the great unknown. Wendell and I have attended lots of graduations in our life together. But, this week, we enter a whole new phase with the graduation of our first grandchild. (And, those will continue until approximately 2032.)
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can survive changes in life. Here are some of my best tips:
My grandfather often asked God to, “Reconcile us to the changing scenes of this life.” Isn’t that beautiful? And helpful? I’ve adapted it somewhat. Occasionally, it just comes out as, “Help!” I am often more eloquent. Sometimes even repeating my grandfather’s prayer. But, I’m sure when John Michael crosses the stage on Sunday, and I send out a silent cry for help, God will answer. He will understand that my one-word prayer encompasses about a zillion things. It is for me, for my family, and especially for John as he ventures into the big, wide world.
My mother often reminded us through the years to enjoy every stage without longing for the one that had passed. She was right, and that has become easier every year. Do I miss the snugly babies of my youth? Of course. I even miss the toddler stage and the teenage years. But, I don’t long for those days. I love the people our children have become. And I wouldn’t trade one adult conversation with them for all the lullabies in the world. (Plus, they have given me fourteen more reasons to sing lullabies.)
Now that the second generation is starting to leave home, Wendell and I are feeling our age just a bit. We could moan about the things we’ve failed to accomplish. (We do moan about getting out of bed some days.) We could be jealous of the endless opportunities ahead for our grandchildren who have strength and youth on their side. Instead, we are anticipating our next season. When our kids were teens, we started planning for our empty nest by making sure our marriage stayed strong. Now, we are planning for staying healthy, active, and available into old age. (And, keeping our marriage strong.) We expect to celebrate lots of graduations, weddings, babies, groundbreakings, debuts, promotions, and experiences we can’t even imagine today.
I will still probably cry just a bit when the baby who made me a grandmother takes his long stride across the platform. But, mostly, they will be the happiest of tears.