Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Five: The (Belated) Graduation Edition

Graduation weekend is here is history now. The Hockey Player is done with high school & is a real-life high school graduate now. I've taken the last few weeks months off organized rides & group runs so I can focus on being a mom, trying to enjoy the last moments before the boy flies away. There have been multiple random crying jags in the car, where I just get overwhelmed with conflicting emotions. We vacillate wildly & unpredictably between not wanting him to leave quite yet and being so frustrated with his attempts to be independent that I'm ready to pack his bags for him.

So, in honor of this auspicious occasion (that happened last week, but, y'know, life & stuff...) (and in homage/direct theft to a blog entry by my girl MK), here are the Five Things I Would Tell High School Me And By Extension My High School Graduate. Enjoy. Add your own words of advice in the comments, too!!

5. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. This is why the child doesn't have a job this summer, and why we're not really pushing him to get one. There are only so many times in your life that you can go to a midnight movie on any day of the week, sleep until 11 and have the only responsibilities be to clean the cat box and empty the dishwasher every other day. I've been self-sufficient since I was 17, and I want him to relax and enjoy the ride.

4. Don't be stupid, but cut loose every now and then. I wasn't stupid, but I was definitely way too straight-laced. I played it safe because I was terrified of getting into trouble and having it affect *everything*. I probably could have been a little more adventurous, a little more daring, had a few more hijinks, and still avoided getting into any serious issues.

3. You can move on from high school without moving on from your true good friends. I was so ready to leave high school and my hometown behind that I did a lousy job of keeping up with a  handful of people in my life that really mattered. I should have kept stronger ties to them and not let life interfere.  I've reconnected with them in the last few years (thank you social media!) but there are a lot of life events that went on for us that we missed out on, and I am sorry about that. Friends are the family you choose, and will be such a critical part of your life, and when you find some that share your values, share your passions, and who fill your life with muchness, hold them tight and don't let go.

2. Be careful who you trust, and listen to people who care about your best interests.  Sometimes, someone with an outside perspective into a relationship can keep you from getting hurt. I have a tendency to think the best of people, and give them second chances after third chances, because everything I do comes from a place of wanting to help, to fix, to make things right. Sadly, some people are more than happy to take advantage of that kindness, and they will break your heart. People you think are your friends will use you for their purposes and not think twice about it, and you will hurt about the loss far longer than they will. The people in your life who will embrace you and appreciate you for your kindness and giving far outweigh the ones who don't deserve your love. Don't let it close your heart and miss out on that because of a few bad apples. And if, you're lucky, you will have someone, or a lot of someones, warning you about these bad apples because they see what you cannot. Listen to them. The first time.

1. Be patient about finding love. You will know it when it happens. In the meanwhile, be happy being alone. People will say I wasn't patient, because I fell hard in love with my "lobster" early in my freshman year. But I never dated anyone in high school, and went away on my own, fully expecting that I would be alone the whole time I was in college. And that was an exciting proposition. Free to do what I wanted, when I wanted, without being accountable to anyone.  But then, going through life with a partner who wanted the same things, who made me smile and laugh, who brought me peace and joy, seemed even more exciting. Love will come to you, when you are ready and when you least expect it. And it will be glorious, and you will find yourself looking back 26 years later, hopefully with many more years to come, wondering how you ever got so lucky.

So, there you go. Things I would tell myself, things I want to tell the boy. And because, hello, it's my blog and I HAVE to post pics, a few from last Saturday. It was a beautiful day, and we had our family with us to celebrate not the end of his high school career, but the start of his life. Good times, y'all, good times.

Hook 'em! 

"who's the Drunk Uncle?" "HIM!"

My life, my loves. So different, very much the same. 

Love that smile!