One of my favorite things about May is seeing what your kids are accomplishing.
All the ceremonies and banquets and concerts in real life and all the social media posts by proud beaming parents are absolutely beautiful.
I know the joy that I feel this time of year. So many milestones reached. So many goals accomplished. Wrapping up the chapters and tying nice little bows on them feels lovely. I shed a lot of tears because transitions are just bittersweet.
But frankly, I also feel a ton of relief.
Guys, the kids have worked and toiled and put in the hours for months.
But let’s be honest. We’ve all worked for months.
That honor roll certificate? Face it. You made a lot of school lunches at 5:30 am to provide the nourishment needed to make that happen.
That All-Region Choir member? Let’s talk about how much you paid for voice lessons. (Yikes. Or maybe let’s don’t. )
That “Best Defensive Tackle” awarded on the junior high football team? You waited in the school parking lot approximately 75 hours for football practice to end while trying to decide whether or not to leave the engine running or die of heat stroke.
Parents, this gig with the child raising is real work.
You read and reread and gave feedback on the scholarship essay after midnight on more than one occasion. You Amazon-primed all the randomly requested project items. You ironed the pants and found the field trip shirt and bought new basketball shoes because they lost ONE.
And you lived to tell the stories.
The end of school season is a time for us ALL to celebrate.
And so when your child’s name is called and they walk up on the stage, I applaud your child loudly and I also applaud for you. I probably wouldn’t clap louder if I had birthed the kid myself.
I know what this represents. I am so happy about their achievement, their recognition, their project, their award-winning piece, and their amazingly bright future. And I applaud because we collectively are doing this parenting thing!
And in cheering for all the kids, we remind ourselves and our own kids that there is room at the table for the greatness that each and every person brings. One “Outstanding Bandsmen” doesn’t keep anyone else from making their own beautiful music. One college scholarship winner doesn’t damper another kid’s bright future.
So remember to cheer for everyone in May.
Cheer for the kid who beat your kid out for the scholarship by a landslide or by a near miss.
Cheer for the kid who has the unique ability that is so unfamiliar to you that you barely understand the magnitude of the achievement.
Cheer that we all made it another year. Cheer that we are collectively raising great humans that are going to make the world a better place.