Family Picture

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. 

~Erma Bombeck

I love Erma Bombeck’s sense of humor. And, the truth in between the humor. On an unusually chilly, windy, and rainy, May Sunday morning, my oldest daughter “walked the lawn” of Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia, a longheld tradition for UVA graduates. Throngs of people crowded walkways, making it very difficult to manuever. I asked one of the groundskeepers how many people they expected to have at the graduation and she said, “30,000 . . . we’ve been setting up seats for hours. And, we will have to take them down.” All I could do was say, “Bless you. Thank you. WOW!”

There were many moments in this important day, but the one special moment I will forever hold in my heart is seeing my daughter in the distance – her hand waving the “I LOVE YOU” sign – amid hundreds of black mortar board caps and gowns. Our eyes met, our smiles shared, and our hearts merged, yet again, in a beautiful moment of mother-daughter joy. Be still my heart. Through the years, the “I LOVE YOU” sign has become our family symbol. We raise it high in the sky whenever we leave each other, as a reminder of the powerful bond we share as a family.

It was a long day, but a great day. Every time I felt I couldn’t take another step, I remembered one thing. Next year I will have time to rest. Lots of time. She will be an ocean away. So, soak up every little moment. Dig deep. Pray for energy. Be watchful. Breathe. Love.

May God give us strength to be the mothers he has called and created us to be. Every minute of every day. Tomorrow, I move forward in graduation week by preparing memory tables for my twins senior tables. One down, Two to go. Even though I am swimming in scrapbook materials, years of photographs and overwhelming preparations for graduation and post graduation parties, I am praying for time to slow down. I am praying for emotional strength to soak it all in.

P.S. And, as a result of all this, I urge you to do one more thing. Don’t take so many pictures! Do we really need 100 photographs of every childhood event? What was I thinking! (Smile)