graduation, graduation day, shes done, high school
Life,  Parenting,  Teenagers

She’s Done

Anna graduation

Anna graduation

 

With high school.

Oh sure, she still has four more years of school to go, but she’s done as it pertains to schooling here in our little town.

 

 

 

It was a day filled with obvious emotions.

Pride. Sadness. Happiness. Excitement. Relief.

 

 

I could say things like “wasn’t she just in kindergarten?” or “how did we get here this fast?”. In fact, I have said these things over and over for the past several months.

Over the past several weeks, I have had friends who have younger children ask me how it feels.

How does it feel when your child graduates?

 

 

I can’t tell you because I am still numb.

My friend (and editor) Jennifer messaged me this on Friday:

Congratulations to you for taking her to the finish line for high school. No one knows how hard it really is — because it’s expected. But think about the work involved! Honor her and yourself!

 

 

See, when your kids are little, you think the hardest part of parenting is the sleepless nights, the toddler years, the earliest part of the journey. But I am here to say that it only gets harder. It gets immensely harder and your job is far from over.

It has been in the teenage years that I have worked the hardest, slept the least, worried the most, cried the longest, and prayed more than ever.

I would even say that my best parenting was done while Anna was a teen. I would also say that I doubted my parenting most during this time as well.

 

Anna and I graduation

 

I am slowly learning that parenting isn’t about letting go as they get older. It’s about holding on for dear life. It is about being there for the icky times and getting in their face and telling them YOU CANT MAKE ME GO AWAY. I AM YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE when they are being ugly.

We fought hard for that seat in the gym to watch that graduation day.

So how do I feel?

At peace.

Our oldest daughter is now a high school graduate. she is now an adult, she is going to spread her wings.

And I know she will be just fine.

I love to write about my family, John Hughes, tacos and Bruce Hornsby. Not necessarily in that order.

18 Comments

  • KWolff

    Congrats to her for making it through! Congrats to y’all for surviving it all.
    It really is a little surreal when they graduate. For me it was hard to not think about my own graduation. It seems like it was just yesterday. When I watched my kid getting ready to graduate last year it all became too real. Even thinking about it a year later makes me tear up.
    So here’s to her and her new adventures. The worrying doesn’t stop for mommas. In fact,it takes on a whole new theme. But at least this major milestone is under your belt.

    • Kari Wagner Hoban

      Yes! I felt like (even though it was close to 30 years) that I just walked into the gym wearing my cap and gown.

      I can’t wait to see her future but man, I feel like she was just in pre-school…..

  • Melanie

    Darnit, you made me cry! You are so right that the hardest times are not the toddler years…it’s definitely as they get older. Even in their 20’s, being a mama is dang hard. I still have sleepless nights and plenty of times where I’m on my knees in prayer. Much love to you.

  • Mrs K @ Mrs Kringle's Kitchen

    Congrats to you both! 😀 It is well deserved and the teen years truly are the hardest because her teen years and your years are likely so vastly different given this little blessing/curse known as the internet. So many things we never had to navigate…if only it were about going to school and learning, huh? Just remember to tell her that even those of us in mid-life still don’t really have it figured out so don’t put any kind of pressure on herself to do X by X age because yeah. LOL She will do wonderful things, I’m sure…I mean just look at her role model! 😉
    Mrs K @ Mrs Kringle’s Kitchen recently posted…Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll UpsMy Profile

  • Mary

    Congratulations to Anna and to you Mama for raising her to finish. I have to agree with you about the teen years being the hardest… and I would venture to say that the years after that when they are “young adults” but still need help here and there are no picnic. But each one has to mature at their own pace. Again Congrats!!
    Mary recently posted…How to Revive a Vintage TV CabinetMy Profile

  • Jessie

    I replied but it gave me an error message. My apologies if this is a second comment

    My sincerest congratulations to you both and my heartfelt condolences to you ?.

    I AM YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE! ??
    Jessie recently posted…“I do it myself”My Profile

  • Ani Kay

    Congratulations momma! I can’t imagine. Recently I’ve been having these flashes of my kids, three and six, and what they will be like when they are teenagers. Will my daughter be like me, a smartass, who tells me nothing, and is really good at hiding her tracks? Will my son be like my husband, self-conscious, and quiet, but always wanting more? And I realize that I have no idea, and I have no control. I will just have to take it all as it comes. I think you absolutely nailed it with “I am slowly learning that parenting isn’t about letting go as they get older. It’s about holding on for dear life.”
    Ani Kay recently posted…Deleting Social Media Accounts is Akin to Cutting Your Own Hair – Both of Which I’m Awesome AtMy Profile

    • Kari Wagner Hoban

      Let me tell you, my oldest as a teenager was nothing like her pre-teen or even child self. It took lots of twists and turns and is scaring the shit out of me for when my youngest becomes a teen. It changes you as a parent. My youngest is now going into fifth grade and I just want to hold onto these days so much more because I know what is to come. But let me tell you, if you work hard enough, those teens come back around and will become your best friend. She is one of my bestest friends. I used to hate saying stuff like that because I feel like it puts pressure on the relationship but its true. There is nothing like it. 🙂

  • Michelle Leslie

    Ahhh Kari, my heart is crying just a little bit for you right now. If only we could bottle up all the precious moments of our kids lives and keep them somewhere so we could open those bottle up again when we miss them so much. I know just how you feel right now. When my son graduated three years ago and left for college, I went through every emotion under the sun and then some. This year my daughter graduates too and she’ll be joining her brother in Canada. And it’s SO. DAMN. far away. Another continent, another hemisphere and so many time zones away. I’m so happy and proud of both of them, but at the same time I want them back home, safe and small so I can cuddle them and read them bedtime stories. Wishing you both all of the very best

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