A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4
I remember the first time you were whisked away from me.
You were approximately thirty minutes old; ten wrinkled, tiny toes and a head full of fine baby hair.
I'd got to hold you in my arms for a few minutes, but before I knew it, your dad had scooped you up and exited the room along with the nurses.
I knew where they'd taken you. A crowd of merrymakers were waiting in the hall to see you in all your newness.
Your debut consisted of an onslaught of aggressive camera flashes and fawning family members.
Your dad held you up like a young king who would someday rule the world. I can imagine it was something like Rafiki did when he presented Simba to the pride. I'm only guessing.
I wouldn't know.
You see, I was still stuck in the delivery room, by myself. After minutes that seemed like hours of being left alone; you taken from me, I had decided to join the party. But there was a problem.
I put my weight on my hands and scooted to the edge of the bed. Something didn't feel right. My legs weren't working. Still I tried until the nurses came in reminding me that I was immobile due to the epidural I had gotten to help me through the thirty-second hour of labor (had to throw that in).
I was the one who carried you for eight months and three weeks. I was the one who labored to get you here. And now it seemed I was the ONLY one who wasn't bursting with excitement in the hallway.
For a moment I felt left behind and quite unable to position myself in that happy place with those people in the hall.
I had the same feeling rush over me earlier this week in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. I'd just experienced an unsuccessful attempt at buying party supplies for your graduation party and decorations for your senior table. I sat in the car bummed at the lack of shopping bags and bummed still, that you're graduating in the first place.
1. that would be by their phone to provide instant comfort because they understand where I'm coming from
2. and that I haven't already exhausted with "I'm so sad he's graduating" texts.
It pretty much excluded everybody, because here's the thing-
Everybody else is already in the "celebration hall". You're there with them. You're all more than fine with this thing. Your dad is doing his "Rafiki bit" thinking about what bright things lie ahead and I'm still trying (unsuccessfully) to join in.
THAT'S the thought I had earlier this week, but...
I'm making a choice to work myself out of my grief-stricken immmobility, because under the layers of "the last this, the last that" and the slew of tear-inducing pictures of Hay Hay (as we used to call you)......I'm happy.
I'm happy that we made it through Algebra II and the parent portion of driver's ed. I'm proud that I see a guy who's developed a great work ethic and a bright outlook for his future. Standing before me is a boy who solemnly swore "that it would never be uncool to hug his mom". You've kept that promise.
I'm going to turn my sadness into gratitude and get happy with the rest of those who are excited at the new chapter ahead. I'm getting ready for the parties.
I'm choosing gratitude.........even though I've already made this decision about twenty times this year.
I'll choose gladness when I find a tear in my eye when I hear you playing "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, and when I think about the milk jug that will probably be lonely in our fridge next August without all its fellow milk jugs that are usually beside it to fill your insatiable thirst. I'll make my sentimentality a reminder to do so. Because this graduation thing is a good thing, even if it makes me sappy.
So congratulations! Let's do this thing.