We’ve been through this before, so we know the waves of emotions that roll through us. When our kids graduate—be it from preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college—we moms come to terms with one season ending and a new one beginning.
When it’s your last child who is graduating from college, this can feel like uncharted territory. Yes, we know that we find new rhythms to our relationship from having gone through this with our other child(ren). But we as moms have not yet left the college season. With our youngest saying goodbye to college, we too are saying goodbye to this season. And it feels much bigger, more final.
This is where I find myself now. My youngest just graduated from college. I traveled this part of the journey with my daughter two years ago, so I know that our relationship continues to flourish and we find ways to stay close and connected. The new part in all of this is the fact that I will no longer be a mom to college kids.
If you find yourself in this place, then you might feel it too. This change impacts our kids in powerful ways for sure. It impacts us powerfully too because, like them, we are saying goodbye to a season of our lives. I’ll be allowing myself time to soak in the waning days of this season, to process, and space to prepare to embrace the one I’m about to step into. I hope you’ll give yourself this gift, as well.
Graduation can feel so abrupt—like the cover of a book closing. And this feeling is so much stronger when it’s your last child graduating college. But the book is not really closing . . . it never does. We’ve been edging forward ever since our babies were born—it’s a gradual process. We go through the days, sometimes observing little changes and feeling sentimental for a moment, but not feeling the larger effect until we look back over a period of years and see all the memories we’ve collected.
It isn’t a book ending. It’s the turning of a page on one chapter and finding the start of a new one. One that still has the essence of the previous chapter(s) and yet-to-be-discovered gems. Memories waiting to be made. Moments waiting to be treasured. Yes, it will be different and there will be things we miss. Yet, gazing upon this next chapter feels like holding a special present just before opening it, knowing that what’s inside is a mystery, but it’s going to be beautiful.