Friday, May 29, 2015

I swear I lived

Last night it happened.  My boy graduated.

It was very similar to when my high school class of 23 graduated...

Except for the few subtle differences.

Adam snapped a picture at the moment he was on the big screen to get his diploma (he's the one on the left...the Viking picture serves no purpose in the story), which was nice because we sat on the exactly wrong side:

That's him!  Pretty sure...
It takes awhile to read 600 names but the children came prepared.

We love our handsome graduate.  We'd sit through another 600 names for him.

(He graduated in the vest he wore in the musical at his old high school last year, gifted to him by his former drama teacher.)
Lately the song I Lived by OneRepublic has been in my head.

I'm pretty sure they weren't strictly talking about motherhood, but to me, it works.

Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad
The only way you can know is give it all you have
And I hope that you don't suffer but take the pain
Hope when the moment comes, you'll say...

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived

I dropped off Mark's registration this week at the junior high.  The end of homeschooling and the ceremonial end of Braeden's childhood all in one week, that could kill a person.

We were going to finish school today but yesterday Mark said, "Let's get it all done today!"

In the afternoon, I was about to read the final history chapter to Mark.  I said, "This is my last time ever homeschooling."

Braeden said, "We should all listen."

So they piled around me on the couch and I started crying.  Braeden had to read the chapter.  Emma wrapped consoling arms around me and Mark tucked in on the other side.  I sat there and thought about how difficult it had been to teach Braeden, who was now breezing through the history textbook, to read.  I thought about spelling tests and temper tantrums (theirs and mine).  I thought about math timed tests and long division and story problems.  I thought about snuggling with Mark under a blanket while we read together.  I thought about how Emma wouldn't settle for anything less than perfect penmanship but she took aaaaaalllll day to finish her work.

By the end we were all crying.  All four of us a soggy mess on the couch.  There's really no hope for people like us.

This hole in my heart doesn't feel so very fabulous, but it is proof of something.

I took risks, I advocated, I followed my own path, I nagged and cajoled and insisted and encouraged. I have put my all into this.

I know I'm not close to done with this motherhood gig, but this moment in time and this crossroads give me pause.  Doors are closing and new ones are opening and the adventure continues.  Being a mother isn't easy.  Working yourself out of a job feels startling even though it shouldn't be.  The universality of children growing up and leaving home somehow doesn't feel like it will ever happen to a nice girl like you.  If there's ever anything worth it, it is motherhood though.  Looking back on all the ups and downs, the mistakes and successes, the messes and bone weary work, the sheer joy and the sheer terror, the disappointments and the swear you lived.



Geri Davis said...

Is there room on that couch for a crying Grandma? Love you all!

Marianne said...

I'm crying too!

Megan said...

well add me to that list. I wish I could have been there to see Braeden walk. I love a good cry at times like these.

Enoch said...

Very well written usual. I think this water in the head thing must come from Pops. I remember the first time I saw and Adam brought him to one of my games at Snow College. It was February 13th, Isaiah's birthday. I remember when I got home I got my mission call. This trip down memory lane isn't making me feel any younger. I better stop! Congratulations Braeden! Congratulations Thelma. You should be very proud of your amazing journey through the "Home Schooling" chapter of your life. Well done sister...well done!


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