Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Letter to My Graduating Son

Our eldest officially graduates on Thursday. As commencement draws near, I've been thinking about the last thirteen years of his life as he progressed through kindergarten up until now. Taking a cue from Sher Bailey, I used the opportunity to collect those thoughts and write them down to share with him at a dinner celebrating the graduating seniors from our church. With his permission, I am sharing it with you. 

Dear Son,

You graduate this week. Wow! What a milestone. I almost have no words to describe the amazing and incredible feelings we have, so I will simply say we are so proud we of you and this moment in your life.

Did you ever think it would arrive this soon? I know your Dad and I sure didn't. It truly seems only yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital, placing you in your crib, and staring at one another with a “What do we do with him now?” look upon our faces. This time in our lives, watching you graduate from high school, has crept up and surprised us with its rapidity!

Son, we know you are going to surpass any expectation of succeeding, because you've always been a great success. You set goals and achieve each of them. Some have taken more steps than others, and some needed a step back before moving forward again; however, you learned from any errors and met your goals. Though you probably feel you already have life firmly figured out right now, I want to give you a few tips before you embark on your college journey.

Go to class. Even though we know there will be days you don't want to drag yourself out of bed, get up and go. We've invested in you and your future. You're preparing for your future. Going to class will assure you are ready when your future becomes your present. 

Your Dad has worked hard to give you a stable home and encouraging environment. He is such a good example of what a Dad should be, and he's the only other person I know who loves you as much as I love you. Be sure to call him, not text, to say 'Hello' and 'Thanks, Pop!' every once in awhile.

When you get homesick, get a low grade, or get your heart broken, you might think you should leave school behind and just come home. Except for overnight or a weekend, don't do it. You're not meant to go backwards. Put one foot in front of the other, and keep looking ahead. Life is a journey that only goes in a forward-moving direction.

Our relationship is going to change. You've entered a new and exciting era of your life. You're learning to fly, and I'm learning to let you go. It's going to be a challenge for both of us, and we'll probably make a few mistakes along the way. Just remember, I always have the best intentions. PS...my advice is pretty spot-on most of the time!

Read your Bible. Your great-Grandma told you Bible stands for Basic Information Before Leaving Earth. She was right. It is and will always be your Life-Line.

Hold on to your beliefs, Son. You are leaving a place where most everyone who surrounds you believes the same things you do. You are going to find those beliefs challenged as you find your place in the world. Remember who you are, and Whose you are. You are a child of the Most High God; a living, breathing miracle created in His image for His Glory. When life is going in a direction you didn't plan, cling to this.

We're always here if you need us. You can call us day or night, even if it's just 'cause you want to hear our voices. And come home every once in awhile so your Momma can hug your neck!

Son, we cannot wait to see where God takes you on your life journey! And no matter what...

We will always love you.