Hey parents of the Class of 2019 — your kids are graduating soon. Scary, right?
It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s your first kid to graduate or your last, it’s always a little different for everyone. Sometimes you can’t wait for them to be out of your house, and sometimes you don’t want them to ever leave because, “What if they don’t come home?” Sometimes you’re excited for all the new adventures they’re about to have, and sometimes you’re scared that they’re going to get lost along the way and not know how to get back. Sometimes you’re excited for them to continue to grow and learn and become an adult, and sometimes you’re worried that you won’t know this new person they’re becoming.
And sometimes it’s all of these things at once and sometimes it’s none of them and sometimes it switches back and forth so fast that you don’t really know how you feel.
And they might not tell you this, but they’re scared too. They’re excited about this new adventure they get to go on, but they feel like everything around them and even the ground under their feet is constantly changing and shifting. They’re excited that they get to decide who they want to be in this new phase of their life, but they’re worried about trying to make new friends and trying to keep old friendships alive. Even if all they keep telling everyone is how excited they are to be out on their own, all they’re going to want to do at some point in their first semester is come home, and they’re worried about picking the right major and figuring out how to get to their classes and having people to sit within the dining hall and finding new groups to be a part of and trying to decide if any of this is really worth it. It feels like they’re leaving everything they’ve ever known behind . . . and that’s scary, isn’t it?
But they aren’t leaving everything they’ve ever known behind. Because whether they realize it or not, it’s all coming with them. All the family vacations, all the arguments and fights, all the deep conversations about crushes and heartbreak and friends and drama, all the things you’ve tried to teach them along the way and especially all the love that you have poured into them from the moment they were born until the moment you leave them in that college dorm for the first time — all of that is going with them. You have loved them and shaped them into the people they are and there is nothing that can take that from them. Not the things they are excited about, not the things they are afraid of.
This Sunday, May 5 is all about our seniors. Sunday morning we will have everyone together in the Justin to celebrate the Class of 2019, and Sunday night we will hand out scholarships and Justees and Senior Bibles and tell them how much they have meant to us — and they’ll get a chance to talk about the friends and the memories they have made here and to take pictures and to laugh and to cry and to just spend time with each other.
So enjoy this time with them. Take lots of pictures, make lots of memories and more than anything, tell them that you love them and that you’re proud of them. I know we will.
Associate Director of Youth Ministries