Sometimes what we appear to have lost is simply something it was time to leave behind. —
I cried tears of joy on my son’s graduation day. But I was also overwhelmed with sadness, a deep grieving for the end of the long chapter of my son’s childhood. I was struck, like so many parents before me, by the swiftness of the passing of time, and felt the bittersweet loss of my “little boy”, who almost magically appears to have transformed into the young man poised to launch into the larger world. But the quote above reminds me that endings need not be infused only with grief. Indeed, movement forward embraces possibilities that are yet to be, and can mark the necessity of endings to make room for the new, the better. “Leaving behind” my son’s school years speaks to his readiness to embark on his next adventure. Without doubt, graduating high school is an essential step in his journey to the person he is to become. Alongside my wistfulness for the gummy smile and sweet baby smell of his younger years, I can confer gratitude on all the stages that brought him to this milestone. And he can find his way forward to his truest, most brilliant self.