It’s a sentimental time of year … graduation.
You’ve seen all those kids who’ve traded in their jeans and t-shirts for prom dresses and tuxedos taking pictures at the Legislature and Beacon Hill Park.
Parents are reduced to tears during that brief moment when their child crosses the stage in mortar board and gown – all grown up.
I’ve been there – a lot. We have four children.
That’s four high school graduations, and four university graduations. Three prom dresses and one tuxedo and I won’t attempt to count the hankies or the cost.
I really didn’t stop to think about it all until this spring. When, Meghan, our youngest, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree it dawned on me that I was entering a new phase in my life.
The stage I had been in for the past 31 years was over. The stage where it was our job to make sure that our children became adults, well equipped to make their own way in the world.
They can all swim and skate, ride a bike and drive a car. They have high school diplomas, and a university degree. They know how to make a meal, do laundry and balance a cheque book (okay they don’t have cheque books but they know how to keep their online bank account in the black).
So, now, I’m entering a new phase in my life.
It’s a bit scary because I don’t really know what my role will be now.
It’s exciting, because I will have more time (and maybe more money) to pursue my own passions, spend more time with my husband, read more books and get more exercise. (I wish).
I also feel the need to change things in my life, like sell the house, quit my job or buy a flashy sports car. I’m resisting the urge to do anything rash.
I’m also resisting the urge to cling to my kids (okay they might think I’m not doing a great job of that but I’m trying).
They are also in a new phase of their lives. They’re seeing the world, finding life partners and, like me, trying to figure out what to do next.
No wonder we make a big deal about graduations. They mark new beginnings for all of us.
Jo-Ann Roberts is an award winning, veteran journalist who is host of CBC Radio’s All Points West, 3-6 pm weekday afternoons, 90.5 fm. Married to Ken Kelly, they have four children: Christopher, Claire, Alyson and Meghan.