Song says what a mother sometimes can't

Monday, May 9, 2016

"I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,

And each road leads you where you wanna go,

And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,

I hope you choose the one that means the most to you ..."

If you want to see a hard-boiled newspaper publisher cry, simply play the Rascal Flatts 2006 tune, "My Wish." The first lines begin, and like Pavlov's dog, my eyes begin to well up with tears. I'm a mom, and the sentiment of the tune hits me hard -- every time.

"And if one door opens to another door closed,

I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,

If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile."

This time of the year, that motherly emotion is close to the surface. It's graduation season and I get emotional thinking of all those young men and women starting a new chapter in their lives. I take photos at graduations every spring and, even if I don't know any of the graduates, I find myself getting choked up when "Pomp and Circumstance" begins to play.

"But more than anything, more than anything ..."

This year, all bets are off. My one and only child is graduating from college this weekend, and headed off for a life independent of his parents. If I thought I was emotional when he graduated from high school, I was fooling myself. Those feelings have been amplified a few notches on the adrenaline scale. While I am putting up a pretty good front, inside I'm a mass of churning parental mush. I'm proud, nostalgic, worried, and excited for him as he starts this next life adventure.

"My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,

You never need to carry more than you can hold,"

My mom duties, which have been whittled down over the past few years, as he's traveled the world and studied at college, will be downsized even more. And that can be frightening for a parent, particularly one with slight control issues. I want him to become an independent young adult, facing the world on his own and making decisions without his dad and I. But, it's important to me that he knows that home is always just a phone call or road trip away. I want him to understand that he's always got our love and support, no matter what. And that's why this song resonates so deeply with me.

So, I will rejoice with our son at his graduation. I'll hug him tight, make him pose for dozens of photos, and I'll smile wide. He's beginning a new and exciting chapter of his life. My heart may be breaking a little at losing this part of our life. But, more than anything, I always want him to know that he's not alone.

"And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,

I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,

Yeah, this, is my wish."