Tips for Parents
Parent Perspective: First Steps to Graduation
By Priscilla Tillner
The day my first child was born was such an exciting day. I fawned over her, thinking how cute and tiny she was. It was right then I started hearing from friends, “Enjoy this time, they grow up and start their own lives in the blink of an eye!” At the time, I thought that was just crazy talk. Fast forward to May 2013, 22 years later, and I’m saying, “Wait, I have a daughter graduating from college, how in the world did that happen?”
It happened quite gradually, I didn’t even see it coming. The milestones are all accounted for. First steps, check. First day of kindergarten, check. First day of high school, driver’s license, high school graduation, check, check, check. First day of college, well you get the picture. And here I am. The mother of a college graduate, and I am just not sure I like this turn of events.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so proud of my daughter. She has accomplished so much in her four years of college. She has grown into a beautiful woman, inside and out. She set goals for herself and met them all. Her future is bright for more success, including graduate school. She is a poised, compassionate adult. Wait, did I say adult? Yes, I did. That’s where I stumble a bit.
I know, I know, she’s 22, she’s been an adult for a while, but in my mind, as long as she was in college, she was still a kid. She still needed her mama. She was still “in school” and I was good with that. But, with her college years coming to an end, I’m looking back knowing it’s all good. I’ve done my job. I’ve given her the tools to succeed in life, the way she wants. I’ve given her the freedom to make her own mistakes, knowing that I’m always there to catch her if she falls. I’ve taught her she doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of her parents. She is forging her own path, doing the things she enjoys. She has a plan for her life. And that’s what we as parents work for: a confident child who has a plan, knows how to execute it, is a good person and dare I say, still needs her mama!