To my son… on your graduation today…
- I love you so much I could cry (and I do). I know… I know… you say I cry too much. But you will find out someday what it feels like to be so proud of your child that you tear up with pride over their noodle artwork that you secretly have to glue back together and re-glitter from time to time. You will be elated with their hand made birthday cards, chock full of misspellings that you find adorable. You will be thrilled with their crayon crafted family portraits where everyone’s hair is the wrong color but it really doesn’t matter, because it’s a gift from the heart. And you will feel overjoyed as you witness each and every milestone in their life. You will also shed a tear when you see your child hurting, and you may even get a little weepy when you walk into your son’s room and smell the faint scent of his cologne after he leaves for his last day of high school. You’ll begin to realize that time is limited. You will be painfully aware that every moment of your child’s life has been the ultimate blessing.
- I am your biggest fan… in the entire world.I may not have been the loudest mom on your sports team, or the mom who baked cookies for every bake sale. I missed more school fundraisers than I attended because you didn’t want me to come to school – afraid I may wave at you or something equally embarrassing! I wasn’t the mom who stood over you to make sure your homework was always correct because, for the record, I felt homework was your job when you were old enough to check your own online grades and talk to the teachers without my help. But I am still the mom who obsesses about your safety, and worries about how fast you may drive in the rain. To this day I can’t sleep until I know you are safely home in bed. I have eaten your “one favorite food” every night for as long as you have had teeth because you are such a picky eater. I care deeply about your soul and how you are growing up to be a young, responsible man. Parents aren’t perfect but we all bring to the table the best we have got to give. It is my greatest hope that in the past 18 years I taught you to love, truly love, unconditionally, despite my own flaws and imperfections. People will disappoint you, it’s a part of life. And, not everyone you meet will stay in your life forever. But there is a lesson in every single connection.
- You are my hero.Without a doubt… hands down. You were dealt a crappy hand one short year ago, and you have handled it with strength, dignity and the grace of a man twice your age. You have taught me what it is like to take a bag of lemons and make the most beautiful lemon pie in the world. Figuratively of course, because you don’t like sweets and I don’t bake pie. My heart is your heart in more ways than one. Opportunity will wait for you around every corner if you just look hard enough. Enjoy each step of the way. You have had the privilege of wonderful mentors in your life and one of them just reminded you in a graduation video to always “Be honest – be kind – be the best you can be.” Wiser words were never spoken. And finally, don’t forget to welcome the setbacks that will no doubt come along, because through the hard times is where you will find some of your greatest lessons.
I love you to the moon Jonathan Gottsman! Congratulations on a milestone and the exciting journey ahead.