Such excitement. We have another college graduate in the family. If I told you there was knitting here, it would be a lie. I'm going to argue precedent, though. If the quintessential knitting blogger, the Yarn Harlot herself, takes the occasional moment to write about being a parent at pivotal moments in the lives of her kids, so can I. Right now, for this post, you'll just have to let me reflect and reminisce a bit.
It's a scary thing to have a College Graduate back. The pitfalls I imagine are myriad and deep. What if I don't know how to be mom to a fully adult offspring? This escalates to, what if I'm so happy she's here I make her feel she can't leave? It's a short and slippery slide from there to the assumption that I truly am one of those psycho-Moms who hedge and trap their children into living a life not their own ("She just goes a little mad sometimes."*).
I may have an overactive imagination.
While wallowing in all this, I found myself remembering when she was 10 months old. She did that pre-walking thing, where they drag you hither and yon, bent double behind them, while they clutch your thumbs. I was so sure she could walk that I
tricked persuaded her into holding the fingers of a mitten in each hand while I held the cuffs. After a few steps I let go. Sure enough, she took off down the hallway, as sure on her feet as if she had been walking for months. I thought I was so smart. Then she looked back. Ten months old and she had already mastered That Look. She, of course, never practiced with me again without checking that she actually had hold of me. She wasn't the only one who learned something that day. I never tried to repeat that bit of sleight of hand.
There's able, and then there's ready, and the two aren't always the same. More importantly, I'm not the one who knows. She was so happy, laughing out loud, practicing walking while she held on. When she was ready, she let go. When she was ready, I didn't insist she hold on. If I was that smart then, why would I think I'm less smart now?
It's a transcendent feeling, to superimpose that child over the one striding across the stage in full academic regalia to shake the Dean's hand.
*Norman Bates on his mom.