May 21, 2024   4:28pm

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Yes, graduation is full of pride and excitement. But, for some of us, the tears of joy are mixed with sadness,



My son Devin’s leaving
. Not leaving home for college … but leaving college for life. He’s graduating University this weekend. Gulp. This is “for real.”

It’s time to come to terms with the fact that I’m “only” a parent. That I did the job I set out to do — raised an independent wonderful and loving kid who can live without me. Sure, there’s a sense of loss, even though I’m gaining – huh … okay, here’s the really good part:

• I’ll no longer need to worry about what will happen to him if my plane crashes; he’ll be sad but he’ll be fine;
• I’ll have more closet space;
• My superfluous furniture and kitchen items can go into his new apartment (wherever that will be);
• My hubbie and I can quit fighting about whether he’s studying enough;
• I won’t have to ship him the stuff he forgot he was going to need (it will be at his place);
• And …

My best friend whom I’ve never met, the writer Anna Quindlen poignantly sums it up in one of her columns, “Home Cooking”.* With an inkling then of what I’m feeling now, I filed it away for just this moment. Here she’s referring to her son:

“First they are in your arms constantly, so that your joints go stiff and your back aches. Then they hold your hand, then tolerate an arm around the shoulder, then shrug and pull away. And finally there’s that hug that always seems to vibrate with the adrenaline of near-escape. They recede into the distance, leaving vapor trails of memory …

“Chris still comes for dinner sometimes … He eats the way you eat when you’ve been cooking for yourself, with a sigh and a smile. His room upstairs has not changed much, except that it echoes because some of the furniture is gone, and sometimes he goes up there to see if there’s anything he’s forgotten. But eventually he stands and says, I think I’m going home now.’ How would he know how that feels to me? First the cradle, then the crib, the big-boy bed, the posters on the wall, the prom pictures on the desk. And then the U-Haul and the tiny kitchen with the lone pan. His home now is elsewhere.”

They really do grow up.

Read this article in it’s entirety to really do it justice: *Newsweek, “Home Cooking” by Anna Quindlen, March 3, 2008,

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