It has been a year since I found this profound note in a magazines that I was rummaging through. When I saw it, a bright light went on as if it were a messianic message for me. At the time, I was living with a son who had just finish submitting college applications and while waiting for responses, pretty much independently decided that his high school career had finished, yet we both knew that there were three more months left on the school calendar.
During those days, I would have happily volunteered for daily root canal surgery instead of having to parent him: remind him to do his home work (‘nag’ was perhaps a more appropriate verb), argue with him why he had to be home by 11pm on a school night (an incredible inconvenience for him) and wake him in the morning for school by hearing a medley of touching responses, “Get the fuck out of my room.”; “I do not have class this morning.” (When I knew full well he did) or the ‘silent treatment’: he would simply not respond and keep sleeping.
I placed this message on my bulletin board; these words were my mantra while trying not to go crazy: first months away from graduation, then weeks away from graduation and then within hours of his graduation. Even minutes before the graduation ceremony commenced, while sitting in the theater and seeing him with his classmates about to receive their diplomas, these words were still fresh in my mind. They gave me HOPE!
As his name was called to receive his diploma, the room fell silent and my heart froze; his walk to the front of the stage was in terribly slow motion. The moment the diploma touched his hands, the exuberant applause was met with fireworks going off in my head. I had succeeded in one of my most important roles as a mother. My 18-year-old son had his diploma. He was a high school graduate.
A beautiful mile stone was achieved. In an instant, the next stages of his life would need to be initiated by him; my new role shifted from driver to proud supporter. A role I was well prepared to assume.