How does it feel when your oldest child graduates from high school?

I have friends who have kids older than mine, heck even Karol’s kids are older than mine.  Her kids graduated in 2011 and 2013.  I didn’t attend Katarina’s graduation, but I went to Brandon’s.  I cried.  I cheered, I got emotional.  I was so happy for him, but in my experience there is a slight difference between the love for bio kids and step kids (at lest in my experience),

So, when it came close for Zachary to graduate, I started thinking about it and getting emotional at least a week prior to the event even happening.  I was at a makeover event on the 29th of May, and was just not in a good place during the day.  I couldn’t pinpoint what was bothering me, and all of a sudden it dawned on me that it was because of Zachary’s impending graduation.

The tearing up and emotion would come and go, but I was just overwhelmed by it at times.  It is hard to explain exactly what the feelings were about.  I was sad that he was all grown up and about to embark on that part of his life that would move him towards his own life and farther away from me.  But at the same time, I was happy that he was graduating, and had made it through high school with little or no trouble.

Don’t get me wrong, this kid was NO angel.  We fought about his schoolwork and grades ALL the time.  We fought about him making Eagle Scout (he told us two months before completion he really didn’t want to do it).  We were like, “WTF? Hell no kid, you ARE going to finish it.” Either that, or pay us back for EVERY summer camp we had ever paid for….

But we missed BIG problems. No drinking, no sex, no drugs, no truancy. No driving his parents car into a fence by the football field when he was 14 and took the car to school while they were on a trip…….oh wait, that was me….

Yes, I was a bad kid, so I was always expecting Zachary to do the same dumb shit I did.  But he never did.  Thank the Universe!!!  So I was totally happy about that!

But there are definitely feelings of joy, pride, and for sure sadness in the emotional mix of graduation.  Zachary is my oldest.  I wonder if it will be even harder for me when the younger one graduates in  years?  The baby of all 4 kids…..

Well, we got through it, and I only needed to use 4 of the 50 tissues I packed in my purse.  (I decided to go bu a new dress that morning, so I didn’t have time to stop and buy tissue packs, so I just shoved a wad of tissues in my purse).  I had to give two tissues to Karol. Zack’s dad was stoic, and didn’t need any, although I saw a tear in his eye at least once.  To be honest, I was maintaining pretty well, only a few tears here and there.  But when the principal got up to speak, he choked up, and that made me lose it.  My carefully applied makeup ended up being streaked all over the place.  Good thing I didn’t wear my contacts.  I had a feeling it might be a bad idea.

So how does it feel when your oldest child graduates from high school? Bittersweet, to be honest. Bitter that they are moving closer to complete independence, and sweet that they are moving closer to complete independence.  (I never said it made sense).

In the fall, Zachary will be attending the local Community College, and working. And moving closer and closer to that independent life away from us.  I have come to terms with that, and am okay with it!

In grad attire after graduation.  He lost his tassel somewhere....sigh....
In grad attire after graduation. He lost his tassel somewhere….sigh….
Crossing the stage to get his diploma
Crossing the stage to get his diploma
Getting that bad boy in his hands!
Getting that bad boy in his hands!

One thought on “How does it feel when your oldest child graduates from high school?

  1. Congratulations to all of you! Bittersweet indeed. I made it through my son’s graduation without needing any of the tissues I’d brought, but over the last few weeks, I did find myself tearing up at random moments. Very reassuring to hear I’m not the only one….

    And what a handsome proud graduate you have!

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