Yeah, you. The one with the camera around your neck and the tissue in your purse. Your child is not so small anymore, is she? I see you watching her with a mixture of pride and sadness. It’s okay, to be both happy and sad all at the same time.
Because this cap and gown that she’s wearing, it’s a wardrobe that reminds you that she’s growing up. Whether she’s about to go to first grade, or be a freshman in high school or leave home for college in the fall, she’s made it to this point, and all that’s ahead of her is to keep moving forward.
Where did time go? And, why does it move so incredibly fast?
Wasn’t she just a baby, nursing in your arms in the middle of the night? Or a toddler making a mess with every new step she took? Wasn’t it just yesterday that she lost her first tooth, bought a sports bra, and tried out for the sports team and made it? You’ve been cheering her on from baby to girl to teen, and now as you focus her in your lens, a young woman stands before you, smiling brave.
She’s ready, mama.
And you are too. I know it doesn’t seem like this is so, but you can do this. You can be brave too. Oh, you are going to miss her, there’s no doubt about that. Her going away is going to make you sad, and you are going to wonder what to do with your time. But mama, she still needs you. More than you’ll ever know.
She needs your prayers, your smiles, and your handwritten notes. She needs to be able to call you, whether from her first grade teacher’s cell phone or her own, a hundred miles away. She needs you to visit and take her to the mall. She needs you to give her advice even though she can do it on her own. She needs you to help her get ready!
Because you’ve been there. And you know what’s coming next.
Homework, activities, boys, friends. It’s all going to be overwhelming to her, and she needs you to help her sort it out. Not do it for her — but guide her as she learns how to do life on her own. When her whole world is new, she needs to know that with you, she’s secure.
When she lets down her guard and lets you in, assure her that God has a great plan for her life. Remind her that his word is a light for her path and a lamp for her feet, always guiding her to the nearness of his love. “Trust God,” you tell her.
I promise she won’t forget.
As your girl grows and goes off to where life leads her, always be the comfort of home for her. Braid her hair, sing her silly songs, and make her chocolate chip pancakes on the days she needs to know she’s loved.
And while this is so very hard to do, it’s what you were made to do. You were made to love her and let her go. You were born so that you could give her life abundantly. She has your heart, therefore, she knows she can always come back to you.
Don’t be afraid as you face this new chapter of life together. Take your pictures but don’t dwell on the memories. Live life with her today, and be the mom God made you to be.
Happy Graduation, mama. Here’s to the future, whatever it may hold.
Celebrations, whether they be special occasions like graduation, a surprise party, or a spontaneous cookout on a Saturday night, are about spending time with the people we love. In my first book, Invited, I share about how hospitality helps us to pursue Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith, so we can invite others to join us in a party we will never forget. Connected to Christ, we find wholeness, completeness, and beauty so we can celebrate the life we’ve been given.
Pre-Order your copy of Invited by June 1st and receive some sweet pre-order goodies!