Only child walking

Only Child Walking

My son, my only child, left today for his last day of school…. ever.

This is the last day of his senior year. The last day of our morning routine that has been in place for the last 13 years. The last day I can really see him as a child. When he gets home today he will essentially be at the point of his life where his is ready to be on his own. Not that he is going to pack his car and run out the door this afternoon, no, I know how to disable his car. Just kidding – sort of….

No, he is not leaving the house today, but this day does mark the end of a very big part of both of our lives; his childhood. Don’t get me wrong, he is completely ready, equipped and able to take care of himself and that is exactly what I wanted. However, I suddenly don’t want that quite as much as I did earlier in the process of raising him.

I am currently caught in the cross hairs of the tug of war that comes with letting go of my child:

  • I am so proud of his accomplishments and his graduation, but I don’t want it to be over.
  • I am excited about his being able to go off to college and start living on his own, but I don’t want him to go.
  • I am excited to see where his life leads him, but I want to go with him.
  • I want him to be independent and love creating his own life, but I don’t at the same time.
  • I don’t want him to need me on a daily basis anymore, but I do.

In a few days my son will walk across the stage and receive his high school diploma. And the giant door to his childhood will effectively slam shut. Granted, another much more exciting door will be opening for him, but all I see is the one that is closing. I also know that he may be back for a while after college, but that won’t be quite the same.

People always told me to enjoy every moment because it will be gone so quickly. How is it that 18 years can be gone in the blink of an eye? I loved every second of his childhood and I can only hope that I gave him all the tools and experiences he will need to make the right choices and to be able to chase his dreams wherever they may lead.

In the end, that is what I really want. I want him to go out and experience life, make his own decisions and chase his dreams. All the while knowing that he always has a soft place to land when life is hard and when some dreams don’t work out.

How have you dealt with the transition from child to adult with your children? I would love some tips!

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