The last graduation-Sort of

I guess it is hard to say it is the last graduation as there as only one more before it, so it may be a little over dramatic saying the last, or you could be my mother who laments that her next one is 11 years away and whether she will or won’t be there(as in dead not whether she will be invited).  Mari’s mom and I had a discussion with her at breakfast before graduation yesterday, and the issue was why is this a big deal?  Are we sad, depressed, happy, some combination of all three or ten emotions.  We agreed that we were not at all sad as this is what was supposed to happen.  I mean god, what if she wasn’t graduating, then we would be sad, or mad, or beyond mad.  But she is, and in three months will be functionally gone, as will Alex, although at 150 miles away, somewhat more accessible.
So what we explained was we are emotional.  We are happy for her, thrilled she is going to a great school in her chosen field, and already is best friend with her roommate.  But for us, there is a huge life change, that anyone who reads this will know and understand.  Even if in the past few years she has been driving and out on saturday and dinners are fewer and farther between.  But she was still there.  Her room has her stuff, the car is in the driveway, old thai food and BWW(good god) remains in the fridge longer.  More importantly the is there, a presence that even if not seen pervades our lives.  how is school, does she need anything, money, food, advice, ha.  But she comes home after school, comes home at night, chats and is a part of our lives.  While they always will be, once she leaves in August, it will never be like it was, it will be what it should be, but not like it has been.
So while we can be happy for her, and not unhappy for us, both kids are great, we can recognize the shift in our own lives, the next stage, and how we can now structure our lives in a wholly different way for the next hopefully 30 plus years.  So are we sad no, but we are emotional recognizing that really 21 years of raising kids is somewhat over and former changed.  Anyone who has been through this is I am sure laughing, but for those of us new at it…..
Have a great summer……