If you come from a military family, Memorial Day brings strong feelings of patriotism, gratitude, and remembrance of those who gave their lives to secure our freedom. It’s a sacred day to veterans and their families, more than picnics and flag waving.
If you’re a parent of a college-bound high school graduate, Memorial Day might take on an additional meaning. The end of this month means the end of a journey for you and your student. Gone are the days of constant reminders of test deadlines, application deadlines, essay nudging, and all the other college related tasks that have so consumed your days for the last few years.
Now, all you have is memories. Those memories will sustain you through the next few months and the first few weeks when your son or daughter leaves home for college. You are now gazing into the face of an adult (or as much of an adult an 18-year old can be). You might still see that boy that wouldn’t let go of your leg on the first day of kindergarten; or that girl who clinched your hand when attending her first ballet class. But time has marched on and now your child stands at a precipice—a defining moment of independence. You can longer hold his hand or fight her battles. It’s time for your child to move on to adulthood.
Just remember that all the memories you have will sustain you, and the good news is, you will have new memories. Your relationship will change, but the bond you have with your child will not. Let go as best you can and watch the person you devoted your life to grow into a confident adult.
This Memorial Day as you are remembering the sacrifice of our veterans, remember all the sacrifices you made toward this goal of graduation and college. It’s been a journey that has brought great rewards and ultimately your child’s freedom as she moves toward her future.
Check out my guide for parents: Parents College Crash Course