Dear Parents of Graduates,

As hard as it is to believe, high school graduation for your child has arrived!.

I well remember the day when Veritas first opened doors.  Some of this year’s graduates started school with us as kindergarteners that year. I remember those of you who were their parents as well.

Your tears on their first school day.

Your reluctant good-byes at the door.

I remember your fears, as well as your joys, as your child journeyed through the grades.  The days felt long at times – especially those grammar school Tuesdays and Thursdays – but the years are so short aren’t they!

Three times, I have watched my own child walk across the stage and receive their high school diploma. Each time I have been struck with how fast the time goes.  Each time I remembered the past while pondering their future.

Now I will do the same for your sons and daughters.  As I call out their names for their turn to accept their diplomas, I will remember them years younger, in the classroom, on the sports fields, with their friends, with you. I am proud of them and delighted in who they have become. I hope no one sees my tears, or hears my voice quiver as I call out their names and achievements.

As this chapter of their lives ends, I have a few parting thoughts for you.

First, let your emotions flow.

You may feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster ride. One minute you are mourning and shedding tears. The next you are filled with deep joy. Don’t worry about being strong. Instead, be real and fully present in this deeply emotional and precious time.

You will survive this season of change and new beginnings!

Second, Let your graduates go.

 Letting go begins at birth one tiny step at a time. Your baby is now a high school graduate and the more willing you are to release him or her in this season, the deeper your relationship will eventually become. Your child is ready to step out of the nest, experience life, and explore the world around them on their own terms.  Look forward to their future through their eyes and not backwards through the lens of your memories.

Third, change your parenting.

 It will need to look more like a friendship moving forward. Holding on to the way things were will only leave you (and your graduate) frustrated. Use this summer as an opportunity to begin relating to them, and conversing with them as a fellow adult.

Finally, your role as their parent is not over.

 This is not the finish line.  Rather it is the door to a new season.

Parenthood is a life-long blessing that will just look different from here on out. You have many seasons still ahead of you that hold immense blessings and opportunities to walk with your child and be part of his or her life in different ways. You will always be your child’s parent.

God is not done with them either. Trust God with your child.  He holds each one in His strong yet tender hands. Prayer will be a tender means by which to connect with both your child and with their God who loves them even more than you do.

It has been a deep joy to journey with you all these years.