A high school graduation is one of the greatest proofs in life that time passes swiftly.
Why, just yesterday, it seems, you were counting your child’s toes and fingers to make sure they were all there. Or you were sitting through an endless elementary school Christmas pageant to hear your daughter squeak out her two memorized lines. Or you were fretting that your son might get hurt as you drove him to his first freshman football practice.
Maybe it was yesterday.
The parents who seize every possible moment to support their children through playground scuffles, piano practice and cheerleader tryouts can approach graduation with no regrets. They have prepared their young to face the future. They have done their best to master this difficult vocation called parenthood.
What of the others - the parents who are too busy, too distracted, too burdened or too selfish to be there when their kids need them? They are like the grownup Peter Pan in the movie, “Hook,” who put his job as a corporate raider ahead of his son’s baseball game, and almost lost his youngster to the arch-fiend Captain Hook.
Unfortunately, by the time youngsters are about to receive their high school diplomas, they have one foot out the door and are chafing to be free. It’s hard, though not impossible, to recapture lost time.
But it’s never too late to try.
The fortunate parents are those with smaller children, for they still have time to reassess priorities.
Every time you attend your youngster’s ballgame, drag yourself to a recital, chaperone a dance, attend a parent-teacher conference, you’re telling your child: “I love you.”
Sure, that’s not easy to do these days. Job demands and family breakups make it tough for some parents to participate fully in their children’s lives.
But on graduation day, how important are those adult obligations and amusements, those long hours spent at the office trying to get ahead? On graduation day, it’s time to say goodbye, and begin a new relationship. Many will regret the memories lost while they chased the wind.
So, consider your little daughter, your little son. Next to your spouse, your children are the most important people in your life. Don’t let them go through their formative years without you.
Hug them while you can, while they’re small. Guide them while they’ll still listen. Love them in a thousand different ways.
They’ll be graduating tomorrow.
, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = D.F. Oliveria/For the editorial board
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