This is it. Graduation day. I am so proud of you.
You broke the mold, Son. So many molds of mine, actually.
You broke my birthing mold.
You broke my parenting mold.
You broke my teaching mold.
You were born with a free spirit, to the beat of a different drum.
I didn’t know it.
I had a lot to learn that only you could teach me.
- Start each day with breakfast. As you came downstairs each morning, your first words were “Need bekkis”
- Ask for what you need. “Need kiss” as you took your paci out of your mouth to kiss me with your toddler mouth
- Laugh in the funny moments. like when a new mattress was delivered, and it looked like my bed had grown two feet taller, and I stood with four year old you as we spontaneously laughed
- Sing your own song. As I’m changing your diaper and singing your nigh-nigh bed song and you chime in with a “Play toys” descant. At 18 months.
- Weigh your options. When reading blends and words wasn’t really worth it and made you cough until mini marshmallows were on the line. Then you were a reading pro!
- Be helpful. As four year old you carried newborn Kirk down the stairs to me because “He was going to cry.”
- Use your voice. Yours was loud and insistent and challenging, but it got my attention. And that of anyone within hearing range in a parking lot or grocery store as you threw one of those tantrums that “my child would never throw.” And that of the neighbor when you were yelling out of the window with your friends.
- Love people and make friends. Like you do so well.
I wish I could go back to that 27-year-old mama of four and give her one of the hugs that infant and toddler you so lavishly bestowed on me.
I would tell her that it really is worth it and really is a blessing amidst the tantrums and struggles over raincoats and putting away sandals and clipping into car seats.
I would ask her what she was afraid of and stop to listen to her answer. I would show her the very things she feared she was creating if she didn’t slow down and live in the moment. I miss the moments. I’m sorry that it took me so long to recognize them. I’m sorry that I thought I could control what I feared.
I’ve always said that I wanted things to be what they really are, even when it is painful.
I remember how painful it was to make the decision to enroll you at THMS. That was really hard in many ways due to my background and story, but I knew that it was the right thing for you. Even though the middle school years were messy, it was worth it that day as we were riding to or from high school when you spontaneously thanked me.
Thanks, Mom, for sending me to THMS so that I could meet my friends.
You have always loved to be with people and to have lots of people around, except maybe at the dinner table if they were under three feet tall and in high chairs. The conversation we had that day in the car confirmed in my heart that the right decision was made for you.
And now here you are.
That’s the question of the season. Friends ask me. They ask you. Everyone has an idea. A suggestion.
It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to be real and unsure and to march to the beat of your own drum. It’s okay to live life and be present in the moment and be open to the future and to not have all of the answers, yet.
Whatever is next, know that you are loved. I am proud of you for who you are. Congratulations on reaching this milestone!
I love you, Drummer Boy.
Remember this feeling. Keep following your dreams and your gifting! You are a rock solid drummer.
I love the way it ended where it began.