The minute you took them to kindergarten, you knew the day would come when they would walk the stage in some school color themed robe and they'd get a plaque that said, "I'm all grown up now." But through all the spelling tests, math quizzes, choir concerts, squeaky cello practices, it actually comes and so much goes through your head.
Did I give him the tools to do this adult thing? Did I help him enough with his homework? Were his friends good enough friends? Were his teachers at least a little sorry to see him go?
I still don't know all the answers for him. The only thing I know is that he's at that magical age of 18 and for the next year he kind of has a free pass. Society looks at you at 18 and 19 and says, "Oh, you're still trying to figure it out." You might go to college or learn a technical skill. Gap years are big now. Work is an option and so it starting your own business. And for this year and a half ahead of you, you get that slack in the rope. You can change your mind a million times and everyone nods and says, "Good for you."
As a parent, however, you stand back and look at this man who took the place of your little boy and you just want to pull in him close and hold on. But another part of you wants to push him out of the tree and watch him fly. (Oh, God! I have to do this four more times and I can't keep my emotions in tact to even write this blog post.)
But I think we did okay. He's changed his mind a million times in one year as to what he wants to do when he grows up. So far, he's come back to a passion that has always had his heart and we will see where that leads him. He also started his own company, two years earlier than I started my first. Maybe I did show him something along the way.
I think he just might make it in this adult life. We did all we could do and now it's his turn to shine. And I turn to see the other four watching and learning from not only us, but from him too. I'm pretty proud to say, they have a great role model in their oldest brother.
Fly, kiddo! The world is yours!