Tonight I sat watching my eldest son graduate from Grade R(Reception grade in the foundation phase) to Grade 1. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I watched him sing with his fellow classmates, “and we’re so glad to see you here.” He had seen me in the crowed earlier and pointed at me, but in such a way that I could see it was more than just hand movements for the sake of the song. He was so glad to see me there, share in his moments of growing up and experiencing with him the absolute joy of being a child and feeling the pride that one feels when your parent shows genuine interest in what you do and who you are.
I’ve never experienced graduation, not my own anyway. One day I will, but absolutely nothing can replace that thrilling experience of seeing your child graduate; achieving their goals of exceeding to the next level, starting a new chapter and celebrating that climax of overcoming all challenges that lead up to that point. I could not celebrate that moment of pride, love and absolute joy without a huge lump in m throat.
As a mother, in that moment, you’re experiencing and re-experiencing numerous sad, difficult and joyous and painful and troublesome moments all in every breath and clap of the hands. One thinks of the times they were ill, when they didn’t want to get up for school, the smart things they say, the argument you had the other night with them, their shoe sizes, the note you forgot to sign in the homework book yesterday- in every breath, with every clap.
One thinks of all you want them to be, for the world, but mostly for yourself.
I cannot believe how my son has grown, and how far we’ve come, him and I, on the journey of life. Before, as a single parent, all those moments that tracked through my mind were all mine. Now, I share them with my husband. I’m sure fathers have their own thoughts, dreams and regrets, but tonight- I was proud that my son, our son, shone, like a star, so bright and specifically, that I was there to witness and live in his moment.
I still have a lump in my throat.
I still see his smile; I see his joy; I feel that as much as I’m proud of him, he’s even more proud to have me as his mom.
“Cayden, you are more than a responsibility to me. You’re an extension of who I am, and I’m so proud to call you my own.”
Love you lots and lots and lots.