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Graduation: the Bitter Sweet Unavoidable Moment

It’s graduation season.

It seems today there’s a ceremony for everything: moving up from kindergarten to first grade, elementary school to middle school, and of course, the biggest of all, graduation from high school.

Each of these moments is bitter sweet. We wonder how our children can already be at their current stage. We wonder where the time went. I remember when my youngest daughter, Avi, finished her last day of kindergarten. I couldn’t stop crying. There I was, tears streaming down my face, in an ugly and unattractive manner. As Oprah used to say, “It was the ugly cry.”

It wasn’t pretty, and I wasn’t proud.

“It’s OK,” other parents said, “I know it’s sad. Your baby is growing up.” They patted me on the back, gave me a smile, and moved on. I was the mom with mascara running down her face.

I just stood there and nodded my head. I was unable to speak because I was so overcome with emotion.

I was sad that my kids were growing up. At the time, my oldest daughter, Zoe, was finishing third grade, and it was hard to imagine we were done with kindergarten, forever. It seemed like such a milestone. An occasion that needed to be marked and remembered.unknown1

Fortunately, I haven’t had a child graduate from high school yet. We still have time. But I have many friends experiencing this now, and you might be also. Their Senior student is moving on. Soon they’ll be watching their child walk across the stage, accept a diploma, and say “goodbye” to high school.

I know these parents are excited for their children, proud of their accomplishments, and wondering where the time went. There will be graduation parties to attend, celebrations to have, and toasts to give. But there will also be quiet moments. Where tears will be shed and hugs might be tighter and last just a little longer.

Their pride is mixed with the realization that things are changing, and will never be the same.

This isn’t a surprise. They’ve know graduation was coming for a long time. But somehow, knowing it’s coming, and having it get here aren’t the same.

For anyone.

If you’re a parent of a graduating Senior, I haven’t walked in your footsteps. I can’t know exactly how you’re feeling. What I do know for sure, is that I feel for you, think about you, and wish you much peace as you enter into this knew chapter in your life.

My oldest daughter just completed her first year of high school. I’m very aware that three years from now, it will be her graduation season. Three years. That’s not a lot of time. And while there has always been a finite amount of time any of us get to have our children home with us, before going out into the real world, it feels differently now.

The time is going by faster and faster.

The best advice I can give to you, is to be thankful for where you are, feel blessed you get to watch your kids graduate from high school, and know that we’re all shedding a tear or two for you.

Find meaning each day,



  1. Vicki on June 5, 2015 at 10:26 am

    So perfect as I head to Zach’s 8th grade awards assembly. I keep finding myself thinking oh my goodness he is headed to high school. I only have him for 4 more years!

    • Dara Kurtz on June 5, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Enjoy EVERY moment! Let yourself be sad, but also realize how blessed you are to reach this day!