Sunday, May 18, 2014

graduation and the art of letting go

It's mid-May, 2014.  I can wake up in the morning these days, and my little red Honda Fit is no longer covered with pollen.  The temperatures are warming up, and the rain seems to have died down. I've noticed another familiar mid-May occurrence.  Mixed in with the bills and sales fliers and general correspondence, we've begun to receive graduation invitations from high school and college seniors, wanting to share their accomplishment (and hoping to score a little cash in the process).  They look a lot like the invitations I sent out in 1975 when I graduated from high school. 39 years ago.  Unbelievable, yet I digress.

Seniors are excited, fearless, ready to take on the world.  I know I was.  I absolutely do remember my excitement on moving day, ready to make a college dorm my home.  Time to stand up on my own two feet, without my parents on the sideline to rescue me when I fell flat on my face.  I was SO ready!  I never once thought about my parents in this equation...How did it feel as they watched me drive off, knowing that I would not be at breakfast the next morning, or maybe ever again?  As a 56-year-old mom of 2 grown sons, I've gained an appreciation for my own parents...and for the art of letting go.

Okay, admittedly, I was reluctant to let go of my kids.  I didn't always show it, but I was a twisted-up mess inside.  Had I taught them all they needed to know to take on the world, without me?  Would they survive?  I had so many scenarios playing out in my mind...anticipating that I'd failed them, and that I needed them under my parental umbrella just a wee bit longer.  

NOTE TO PARENTS:  Not to sound unfeeling or uncaring, but here's what I found.  "Out of sight, out of mind" held a lot of credence for me.  At some point, you realize that they ARE handling their lives.  They no longer NEED you.  You've done your job...and now it's time for them to do theirs.  That was a hard one to swallow...they no longer NEEDED me.  But I survived and you will, too!  I became a songwriter and performing musician when my kids left the home.  Not bad, right?

NOTE TO STUDENTS:  Cut your parents some slack...If they hover a bit (or even a lot) it's because they love you.  They've been in your shoes and they know your road may be rocky...Be patient with them, okay?

As a songwriter, I love to reflect on moments like these.  I would be honored for you to follow the link to my song, Wander, and give it a listen.  It's about love and letting go, in any loving relationship, but I guess I felt it most strongly in May 2003 and May 2005.  

And one more thing:
NOTE TO MY PARENTS:  I wish I could tell you I'm sorry if I was insensitive as I struck out to find my own way.  You guys did an amazing job of letting me wander...

until next blog, peace and love