A Graduation Letter to My Son

Dear Jo,

It’s been almost 18 years since your grand entrance into this world. You didn’t even cry for the first several minutes. You were too busy taking it all in. Your big brown eyes melted my heart. After a few scary mishaps at the hospital, I was overjoyed you were here, you were healthy and you were safe.

I still remember being a bit jealous that your dad got to hold you first. C-sections tend to rob us moms of that special moment. I am thankful I got to give you a kiss on the cheek before they whisked you back to the nursery.

Now, I look up at you, towering over me with an ever so slight amount of facial hair. What happened to all these years? Where is that beautiful baby who was totally dependent upon me? What happened to the strong-willed three-year-old who was running and jumping and laughing every day? What happened?

I close my eyes and the last almost 18 years was like a vapor in the wind. It all flew by before I could hardly catch my breath.  Now, here you stand, a handsome young man ready to leave the nest, start college and create your legacy in this world.

It wasn’t easy trying to hold back the tears as I watched you walk across the stage that Friday night and receive your diploma. I couldn’t be more proud of the intelligent man you have become. That determined child of mine who could be a force to be reckoned with was now brilliant in science and math, a strong believer in God and a compassionate soul full of love for others.

Yes, you are no longer that little boy I remember. You are now a man with a lifetime in front of you and the courage to step out and make a difference.

I can’t help but look behind me and wonder if I was present enough and did I give you everything you needed to grow. Life didn’t turn out like I had hoped. I would have loved to have been able to stay at home with you but my career took me away 40 hours a week. I can only rest in hopes that God filled the areas I could not and appreciate the blessings of the family who helped along the way.

As you prepare to step out into this world, here are a few thoughts I want you to leave with.

I love you, but God loves you more. You will never know how much you mean to me, my only son, my youngest child. You taught me how crazy and yet fulfilling it can be to be a boy mom. God gave up his firstborn son for you, me and the whole world. Never underestimate his love for you and that precious gift of eternal life. Life here is temporary but afterward is eternal.

There are going to be good days and bad days. Some days you may feel as if you don’t have the strength to take another step. At those times, seek God diligently in prayer. He hears your every word. Hold onto the Bible, his word and his presence. Listen for his guidance and follow him. On the days you can’t take another step he will carry you.

Be a shining light for others. There are some lost people in this world. Let God’s unyielding glory shine through you for them. Show them his love with your love, his compassion with yours and his faith will guide you. He will be with you until the end.  There will be times you will see people at their worst and times you will feel weak and tired of mankind. Never give up.

Enjoy life. There are so many things to do and see. So much opportunity. Grasp the reins and ride this out to your fullest potential. Each day is a gift.

Enjoy college. Learn, focus and meet new people but above all enjoy the time you have there and make memories along the way.

Put the past in its own memory box and embark on your new journey. There is a season for everything. Let everything you have learned to this point guide you into the future.

Remember you have family who are your cheerleaders and always will be. Your dad and I love you more than you can understand until you have a child of your own. We are so proud of the young man you have grown to be.

My precious son, it is so hard for me to believe this day has come. No matter where you are or what you do, remember we will always have your back and you will always have a safe place to land no matter what.

Love you forever,