Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off. You’ve gotten him to high school graduation.
I applaud you! You’ve spent countless hours listening to him sound out c–a–t, calling out spelling words, building volcanoes that erupt, and re-teaching Algebra lessons. You’ve signed dozens of permission slips, packed hundreds of lunches, and baked more party treats than you care to count. Likewise, you’ve invested valuable time sitting on folding chairs at tedious recitals and on bleachers in the rain, cheering him on. You’ve confronted bullies, put in enough carpooling hours to start a taxi service, survived teenage romances, and bore up under the five words every parent hates most, Do we have any posterboard?
And now you’ve reached the end of an era. As graduation approaches, I suspect that you’re already wondering where the years went and how you will handle daily life without your boy as he sprouts his wings and flies away. And you will question your new role as the parent of a young adult.
It is now, dads and moms, that you become the students. Making sure that he has something green to eat every day and is warm at night is no longer your job. You’re about to learn what it means to get in the trenches and on your knees. You are now privileged with truly trusting that God holds your child. The immense, unconditional love you have for your son or daughter pales in comparison to God’s magnificent love for him.
You must also exercise confidence that you’ve taught her well. As a mom, I understand the panic as you realize the many things you intended to show as the years slipped through your fingers. Yes, she might be hungry a night or two when the money runs out before the paycheck comes in. That’s okay. There are valuable lessons to be learned in surviving on peanut butter crackers for a couple of days. But know this: The manners and work ethic you taught and the faith you instilled—those are a part of her fabric. They’re ingrained in her. And you, dad and mom—you step back, bite your tongue, and watch God move as you pray for her to grow in character and Christlikeness.
Yes, your child still needs you! He needs you to stay on your knees. He needs to know that you’re going before Father on his behalf. He needs you to set a strong example of how a godly adult should act and re-act.
Rest well tonight parents of graduates. Your child will soon be out of your sight but never out of the sight of the Savior.