The Parents

imageWhen FBC first visited the college where he would eventually matriculate, we were touring a dorm during his Junior-in-High-School visit and this happened:

Upper Classperson Tour Guide: The RAs are really cool. Your boyfriend or girlfriend can stay over and it’s no problem.

Me: Um. I’m the Mom & I’m standing right here.

On another occasion, TBC & I were shopping for jeans & this happened her senior year of high school:

Hollister Employee: Hi! Take a look at our low cut jeans! They look really good!

(After realizing I was invisible:)

Me: Um. Hi. I’m the Mom.

At some point, we became the Ever-Present-Yet-Unimportant Parent. Yes, we moms are often the ones who labor for hours and hours to give birth to our beloved children. Or we joyously adopt precious daughters and sons, making enormous financial and personal sacrifices to welcome them. Dads try to figure out how to be sensitive new age guys.

We endure sleeplessness, minivans, homework meltdowns, forgotten-until-bedtime assignments from science projects to tomorrow-we-wear-something-yellow. It’s not easy, ladies and gentlemen.

Yesterday, our last child graduated from college and the Dean of her College said that the journey of the child necessarily becomes the journey of the parent.

I know this to be true.

There is a difference between 1) usurping our children’s lives as our own and 2) experiencing a child’s journey as our own. Our children’s lives are not our lives but I can tell you – with everything that is in me- that I know parents whose children have endured leukemia, depression, addiction, ADHD, gender dysphoria, and a basic lack of ambition, and their journeys become our own. It’s not that we want to live our children’s lives. It’s that we love them so much that their pains become our own.

I write this as an immensely grateful parent.

I have been thanked by graduation speakers (“Please thank your parents”) and I’m here to say that nobody cares about the parents at college graduations – really – except that we have really been invested in this thing. And we cannot ignore the fact that many others have made our children extraordinary, if we are honest.

It’s hokey to say that our children are raised by a village, etc. And yet, it’s true. And so I thank you.

You know who you are. Our last child child graduated from college yesterday. And there is no way we can thank you. But thank you.

Image of the Best Parents Ever (& their FBC)

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One response to “The Parents

  1. virginiahollis

    well spoken! so true

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