So 22 years ago this weekend I was graduating from UConn with my MA in HDFS (Human Development and Family Studies), days away from my 25th birthday and weeks away from welcoming the young man who would change my life forever.
This little one would teach me so much starting with his birth! He was stubborn and facing the wrong way, but after 28 hours of hard work he was born and I learned the first lessons of motherhood. I was stronger than I ever knew AND if ANYONE messed with this little bundle I would unleash a whole lot of crazy! I also learned that starting from day one, he was going to do things his way.
Here he is on his 18th birthday as I'm getting ready to send him out into the world. 4 years ago when I started this blog. I needed a way to process the next phase of life. Launching my babies. It used to make me nutty when people would say "enjoy every moment!" Seriously? Some of the moments are not enjoyable! Now, I say it a lot. From the moment you birth a child they are beginning the journey to leave you. Over 18 years, I hoped that he learned the lessons I wanted him to learn. I never imagined I would learn so much as well. You can despair and fret and demand, but once they start their journey when the umbilical cord is cut, all you can do is guide them, keep them from going completely off the rails, and enjoy the ride.
This week he graduates from UConn with a BA in HDFS. He has worked a ridiculous number of hours in a dining hall kitchen while in school full time and has found his voice. He has no patience for entitlement or inequality. He knows that while I will argue with him and disagree with him, as long as he does his research, is respectful and open-minded, I will ALWAYS listen. He is passionate and smart. He challenges the status quo. When he was young I wanted him to learn to follow HIS path. I didn't want him to blindly live his life following the rules. He learned those lessons well! When people ask me what he's going to do now and I say "I'm not sure," the assumption is made that he will be moving home.
Here's the thing... While he is welcome to come home if he needs to, I don't think he ever will for more than a brief visit or transition. He has become practical, capable, responsible and independent. He's learned to pay bills, cook, negotiate and handle problems that arise.
He's ready to fly and I'm so very proud.