This week marked a major milestone in my life – my daughter graduated from college, earning a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami. My wife and I are incredibly proud of her and her achievements, matching the pride we have for her older brother who also earned a BFA in Musical Theatre from U of M in 2009.
Events like this give an opportunity for reflection. As our daughter moves onto the next stage of her life, so do her parents. For the first time in eight years, we’re not the parents of a college student. [And we’ll have no motivation to fly from Seattle to Miami multiple times per year!] More significantly, for the first time in more than twenty years, we’re not the parents of any student at all. Both of our children are now officially “adults”, by any measure, although we’ll still support them emotionally (and in other ways, if they need it).
Much of our reflection centered on looking backward. We’ve raised our children well (he says modestly). Though they’re both talented and seem likely to be successful in their careers, those aren’t the most important traits. They are kind, honest, respectful, and principled. Their instructors, their peers, and their colleagues frequently praise them, consistently respect them, and genuinely like them. Those are the characteristics that we acknowledge, as parents, with pride.
For now…I’ll leave you with this thought:
Being a parent provides the greatest pride I’ve ever felt, reveling in the accomplishments of my two children.