GRADUATION DAY, SO SOON?
Becca’s graduation day has arrived. She has put twelve years of school behind her and she is ready to conquer the world. I cannot believe this beautiful confident young lady I now see before me was once my pigtail wearing, My Little Pony playing, I love hanging out with my pet goat little baby. It just happened too fast. Becca is beyond ready to graduate. However, I would love to get a few more years of ROTC rifle competitions, Friday Night Lights with my cheerleader, and just being there for her to share her heart breaks and success. Today was a bitter sweet day for me as her mom. I am celebrating her triumphs and excited for the new challenge of college. But at the same time, I am also fighting back the tears, knowing everything is about to change.
GRADUATION JOURNEY FOR BECCA
When Becca started senior year way back in August of 2016, 2017 graduation seemed like an eternity away. This year passed by so fast. I am so proud of my little girl’s work ethic this year. She definitely did not fall victim to senioritits. Instead she continued to work hard on her academics, build her extracurricular portfolio, and also got her first part time job. She was not about to let eleven years of hard work fall to pieces. Now don’t get me wrong, my goof ball found plenty of time for fun with her friends and boyfriend. She has a few amazing people in her life, that happen to be just as crazy as her, and they made some awesome memories this year.
Becca has gone from a shy little girl to a confident young lady. She intends on living at home during her first two years of college, but is already making plans to set out on her own the last two years. Her hard work has earned enough scholarship money to keep her debt free her first two years of college. She also earned her Certified Nurse Aide certification during her senior year. Becca will be working at a hospital as a Patient Care Assistant this Fall. To say this chick has all her ducks in a row is a bit of an understatement.
GRADUATION JOURNEY FOR MOM
I am going to let you in on a little secret. Becca was not always this confident honor graduate we see before us today. In fact there were a few years that were a bit painful. I have clear memories of her first grade teacher telling me she was not progressing at all. In fact she felt that she needed to be held back and placed in special ed classroom. She went on to tell me that because of her academic troubles she was also not growing socially. She spent most of her classroom time alone, she knew she was different. We now know that Becca does have a learning disability. She has a processing disability. Becca can learn just as well as anyone, but her brain takes longer and sometimes needs a few tricks to help it retain all the info.
Before I was a nurse, I was a teacher. My husband and I knew we could help our little girl with her academic troubles. We decided to homeschool her for a few years. With help from the whole family Becca became a high spirited and engaged learner. We enrolled her back into public school and she did well socially and academically. Now, I am not saying she did not struggle at times and have some self doubt, but with our encouragement she believes in herself at least a little bit.
As a result of her educational journey Bec and I have a special relationship. I am her mom, but she is also my friend who I admire. We love hanging out together and I am so thankful to have went on this wild ride with her. It has been an amazing couple of weeks between honors day with scholarship announcements, graduation parties, and now the big day. Congratulations to all the 2017 graduations and their families. Enjoy the day.
#1 PARTY EARLY
No, I do not mean get up early in the day to start the party. It worked out so much better for our family and friends to have Becca’s party a week before her graduation day. Becca just wanted a small gathering of family and friends along with her favorite foods. It was a day that worked with everyone’s schedule. The adults did a little chit chatting and the kid played a game of football. Graduation day is already so busy, don’t stress yourself as a parent. After all you worked hard over these past 12 years, you should get to enjoy it too.
#2 DON’T GO FOR PERFECTION
My family has not problem with this one. If people cannot make it to graduation, if it is too hot during the ceremony, or if someone forgot the card and flowers you picked out at home, don’t sweat it. Years from now none of that is going to matter. Go with the flow and enjoy the moment. You cannot get that walk across the stage to receive the diploma back. I promise you in a few years all I will remember is that moment when my girl marched past me on her way to the football field and she grabbed my hand and gave me that goof ball smile. None of the little road blocks will even enter your memories.
#3 MAKE A MEMORY
For me most of the day will be engraved in my mind. However, there was a special person that was not able to be there. My dad passed away 8 years ago. Becca and my daddy were thick as thieves. They shared that hazel eye color and a mischievous streak that is a mile wide. I wish he could have been there yelling and cheering for his Sissy as she graduated. Unfortunately this was not meant to be. So, I decided to get a couple of balloons, one for graduation and one that had My Little Ponies on it, for Becca to release after graduation. We went out to a field behind the school and she let them soar into the heavens. What a great way to celebrate her relationship with her Papa.
I hope these tips help you to have a more relaxed and memorable day. Believe me graduation day brings its own amount of chaos do everything you can to leave yours at home. I know my family had an amazing day celebrating our graduate.