Keep me sane during this season of chaos. Help me find the Grace to continue to parent and love and laugh while planning parties and buying bedding for college dorms and reminding her to make sure all of her paperwork is submitted.
Remind me that this is a celebration, a milestone of achievement and happiness and success, and not a moment to be mourned or feared. Give her the grace to tolerate my moments of tears, and give me the strength to let those moments be few.
As she walks across that stage, let me find the peace that only You can give, knowing that she is in Your hands, has always been in Your hands, and that this will not change. Give me that peace again as she walks into her college dorm in 3 months, and I drive home without her.
When I blink and see her as the child she once was, allow me to enjoy those memories with smiles, but bring me back to the current moment, and remind me that I can enjoy this time as well.
Let me remember that each first step was scary, but that each first was also wonderous, miraculous, and the end of something else. The first step was the end of her season of crawling, and the beginning of her season of freedom, exploration, growth. Graduation may signal the end of her season of childhood, but it brings with it the same beginning of a new season of freedom, exploration, growth.
As she moves out from under my roof, and out into her own spaces, give her wisdom to stay safe, but not so much anxiety that she forgets to have fun. Let her know, without any doubts, that life is bumpy and messy and mistakes will be made – but that there is always enough of Your Grace to start again.
Let her know that we are always here if she needs help, but please let her find others at her college that she will know well enough to ask for help also. Give her people, a group, a tribe to support her and love her, that she can support and love, so that she may feel belonging wherever she goes. May she have peace and friendship and laughter.
Help us both to know that while she is on the cusp of adulthood, there will still be a space to learn, to change, to grow, to make mistakes, to start over. For both of us. Neither of us should expect perfection in any way – not in her, not in me.
Let me accept the changing of our relationship over the next several years, to gracefully back away from the daily parenting, to slide into the role of (hopefully wise) friend. Please help me not to worry about her constantly, but to think of her often, to text her funny memes, to laugh at her stories. But also let her know that I am here to support her in whatever ways she needs.
When she thinks of home and her childhood, let her remember most the love that guided all that I did. Let her know that my mistakes were mistakes made in an effort to do my best, to push her and guide her and shape her, mistakes made of my own failings, but that all of those things were because of how much I love her. Let it be love that she remembers most of all.
And when she thinks of that love, please God, pinch her just a little and remind her to call me and let me know she is ok.
But mostly, when she thinks of that love, please God, let her know that my love for her is but a pale imitation of the love You have for her.
And let her rest there.
And let me rest there too.