As many of you know, my younger son Travis just graduated from the University of Texas. The clan gathered in Austin to celebrate this happy occasion and to congratulate my son (who, by the way, graduated with Honors….I’m so proud!). The weekend was full of laughter and love, and I only cried a couple of times at the thought of my baby leaving the nest. We had a wonderful time meeting Travis’ friends and also his girlfriend’s family from Michigan. It was a low-key, relaxing weekend that focused on the kids (oops — I mean young adults). It was also awash with memories for me.
It was impossible for me to watch my son walk across the stage, resplendent in his cap and gown, without remembering the first time I saw him. He was sporting a little knit cap (supplied by the hospital staff moments after he was born) and was swaddled in a tiny blanket. He had that same level gaze that he does today, taking everything in. Now, looking at his sturdy BMX bike in his college room brought back memories of him as a teenager riding for hours, doing daring tricks that I could not bear to watch, always pushing the limits of his skill and strength. His father’s graduation toast, and accompanying journal excerpts, unleashed a flood of memories about Travis’ entrepreneurial spirit, sense of adventure, and loving nature. We made a big poster containing snapshots of him over the past 22 years, and I marveled at how my mischievous, adorable, strong-willed child has matured into a thoughtful, handsome, determined young man.
Graduation was a milestone in my son’s life. It was a chance to look back at how he used to be, celebrate who he has become, and turn towards his future self. It is both exciting and a bit scary, I’m sure. But here is what I know about my son: he is a learner, and possessed with an incredible heart and a keen intellect. I need not worry.
I hope that you celebrate your milestones, and use them as an opportunity to remember where you have been, who you are, and who you are becoming. It is my privilege to accompany you on that journey forward, through our coaching relationship.
Sharon Keys Seal