My son graduates from high school today.
It’s inevitable that I think about my own high school graduation. My grandparents were all still alive then. And very proud of me. My mother? Not so much.
My parents are not attending the graduation ceremony. I haven’t written or spoken to them in about a year. I wonder if they’ve even thought about this milestone they are missing. I’m sure they do — and blame me for keeping him from them. Which is not the truth. The truth is that they could’ve mended this rift if they had wanted. Being “right” is more important to them than self-examination. For them to admit any wrong-doing would threaten their carefully constructed false identities.
I got tired to upholding their vision of them as infallible and me as the problem. I let them do it — I believed it — for most of my life. I’m willing to accept my part in things, but I refuse to take their piece anymore.
I hope my son will look back at his graduation differently, that he’ll see those who loved and supported him. He doesn’t care that my parents aren’t going to be there. He thinks they are weird and boring.
I hope I’ve done better by my kid. I see a young man who is very much himself and also still has a lot to learn once he leaves the cocoon of home. I hope I’ve prepared him and that he knows he has a safe place at home should he falter.
I’m not ready for this, but I hope you are. I’m so proud of you.
Happy graduation, baby boy. I love you.