The weekend just passed me by in a blur. This is the first weekend in eight years that I haven’t participated in the FANS 24 Hour Run. I hadn’t even looked up any entrant information and I haven’t yet looked up the results. I was consumed with something else: Tyler’s graduation from high school.
Although I have known since Tyler’s birth that the day of commencement is going to arrive, I didn’t know that it would be so difficult for me. It wasn’t the act of the commencement that was difficult; it is everything that the commencement signifies and the emotions that go along with the change. I've never done well with change.
I chose to leave my job once the boys arrived to stay at home until they were of school age, then once again return to the the fast paced, goal oriented, progressive company I worked with in the high rise luxury office building to the slow paced, stark public school district so that I could be more involved with my boys day to day lives. It’s a change I am still glad that I chose to take. I’ll never have this time back.
I have been able to ride with the boys to school each day, to work their school hours, to have their time off. It’s been fabulous.
Tyler participated in full time PSEO at Saint Cloud State University as a high school senior this year so I didn’t see him in the office day to day. I missed his lunch time visits to the office very much but was still able to catch up with all of his friends as they visited quite (maybe too much some would say) frequently.
As graduation loomed last week my emotions were riding a roller coaster. So proud of him for making the Dean’s list, so proud of his accomplishments-so proud of the way he carries himself as a person. He’s a respectful, well- mannered boy. Man. He’s almost 19 years old. He has never given me any problems.
It became clear to me on Tuesday that I needed to take a vacation day on Friday prior to the evening commencement. Friday arrived. As I was walking through the grocery store tears just began to stream down my cheeks. Tyler is graduating. Everything is changing. I lost it, over and over again.
My parents arrived and I tried to put on a brave front. Although I couldn’t eat I was able to put the tears away. I was nervous as to how I would react at commencement. I didn’t want to be ridiculed for showing my emotions.
Luckily for me Troy had a baseball tournament so I had other things to distract me. Get him to the field an hour before the game, make plans for him to meet up with us after commencement, games on Saturday and Sunday.
Commencement arrived and I was holding it together. I visited with all of his classmates. These are friends that I’ve known since Kindergarten. I have volunteered in their classes, had them overnight, to birthday parties, driven them all over the world and visited with them every day in school. To see them leave was heartbreaking. They kept asking me “Julie what are you going to do without us to visit you” I kept a brave face but said that I would indeed miss them but that I was excited for their future.
I made it through commencement with a few sobs, and afterward I mingled quite a bit, posed for many pictures with Tyler and his friends and thought it was going to be ok. I made it!
Saturday was filled with baseball games and a quick trip to the Edina Art Fair. Sunday was back to baseball. I had a few events to take my mind off of my sadness. I broke down a few times. I just can’t help it and realize this is OK to feel this way.
I kept telling myself be happy! Be proud! Yes, I am I am, but I’m sad too. I’m sad for the changes, sad for the end of my life as I have known it, sad for the little everyday things that will be changing.
Tyler tells me this experience will make it easier for me as Troy graduates. I say Pffft.
Enjoy the time you have with your children. Enjoy the time you have to spend with them. Take the time to spend with them. It all goes by too quickly. Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy!