Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed.
Tomorrow, my middle son, Jordan, will move to a new town and begin his new job. When he returns home, he will have his own home, now only arriving at mine as a visitor. I'm trying not to think about all that means, instead choosing to express my confidence for his success in the world. A poker face, laden on the inside with wonder at how quickly the time of raising him passed.
All along I felt my job was to teach my children independence. My heart holds a two-faced reaction to the accomplishment of that goal. One of pride for their success and one of sorrow that they no longer need me like they once did. Selfish, perhaps. I admit it.
Last weekend we had the distinct pleasure of attending Jordan's college graduation from Northern Arizona University. Very proud of him. Jordan didn't talk until he was 4 and didn't read until 3rd grade. Teachers said he'd never do well in school. Perhaps I should mail them a copy of his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.
Now he moves to another town to begin his career in Wildlife Management. Employed. Self-sufficient. Off our payroll.
And the best part? Only three hours away instead of 17.
He had planned on antlers for his mortarboard, but came up with this instead. He wanted it to read "My Job Here is Done", but ran out of room for the "here" part. My husband -- glad to hear he knew more work lies ahead. His job at college is done, but he embarks on the world and a career working with wildlife, as he hoped. What fun to come as that path evolves.
Such fun we had in Flagstaff, Arizona. Great town. Beautiful location. Enjoyed our time with Jordan and his friends. We stayed at this funky, old hotel. I'm not sure my in-laws enjoyed it as much as my husband and me.
Had an incredible meal to celebrate Jordan's success. With beautiful food - like this dish. Grilled leg of lamb, Mole Style Lamb Chilaquiles, Salsa Roja, and Queso Seco. Incredible. I wish my kids could graduate every day.
Now, on to the high school graduation of my youngest. I can begin grieving for that son who leaves for college in the fall. However, he'll only be a mere 12 hours away. Much easier for me as that is only a day's drive, instead of two.
As for Jordan, like his mortarboard said, my job is done. I think (I know better.)