It’s graduation season. Prepare for a ridiculous amount of sentiment on serenity now, because I saw my children at senior graduation from the moment I dropped them at the door to kindergarten that first day. You can tell me again that it goes all too quickly if you’d like, but you’re talking to a girl who knows.
Mom tells me that every season of life is enjoyable. But last night I heard something that made me question everything she has ever told me. I had to wonder – in a shocked and conspiratorial sort of whisper – Maybe Mom is LYING.
It happened while I was otherwise ignoring a sitcom on t.v. I don’t even know if it was a graduation episode, although I’m thinking so. Because I suddenly heard the mother give a tearful, melodramatic speech about children growing up. It was one of the moments when I remember that behind every show – comedic, dramatic, action – there lies at least one true writer – the kind of person trying to capture the whole wide world with their words. The mother listed off the things we teach our children – I only remember one, and I’ll make up the rest for you here: We teach them to use a fork, she said. And to spell their own name and to look both ways before they cross the street.
“And then we realize,” (and this is the part that made me sit straight up and choke from the truth of it), “All along, we were really just teaching them to leave.”