Thursday, May 8, 2014

Allie Pleiter on Graduation Season

It’s graduation season at the Pleiter house.  Back when we were planning our family, we thought ourselves oh-so-clever to have our two children four years apart (that was back when we were young and foolish enough to think one can plan such things…).  I remember thinking how nice it would be to get to tackle one college tuition at a time.

It’s worked out that way…sort of.

Mandy & I hamming it up at her high school graduation
I didn’t foresee having to graduate both children—one from college and one from high school—within weeks of each other in different parts of the country.  I didn’t foresee double sets of announcements, celebrations, gifts, and logistics.  We didn’t realize the final year’s tuition payment for one child would still fall in the same year as the first year’s tuition payment for the second child—ouch!

That’s parenthood—you never see most of it coming.

With all the hassles, I am still deeply grateful and aware that these are happy days.  My children have accomplished great things—some of them under very difficult circumstances.  I am full of wonder at launching them into their new lives.  And, quite frankly, I’m pretty excited at the prospect of regular visits to Charleston, South Carolina and Austin, Texas—in winter, that is.  Unloading my son into a Texas dorm room in August?  Not so much.

Benchmarks are worth celebrating.  These are watersheds in my children’s lives, and I’m happy for them.  They are becoming the most amazing people right in front of me.  So far, I have no fear of the empty nest—but I realize I may eat those words.

What about you?  How many of you are launching children into new seasons of their lives?  Graduations, marriages, new jobs?  Let’s celebrate together!


Valri said...

I know how you feel, Allie! We just attended our last child's college graduation recently and now in 2 weeks, we attend our oldest child's GRAD school graduation! After 11 years straight, all 3 kids will finally be out of college! We thought this day would never come! It will certainly be strange to not have a kid in college. It's been our life for so long...a kid in SOME kind of school! Now we just have to wait for our 2 yr. old granddaughter to start Kindergarten, I guess, and we'll start all over with the process! Congrats to you!!!!

Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations on your two grads! Commiserations on the double graduation expenses.

Our one and only graduated from college last year with a German-French double major. Her dream was to live and work a year in France and a year in a German-speaking country so she could become fluent in both languages. She just finished up a year in France as an English language teaching assistant in two middle schools. We get to see her this summer, and then she'll return to Europe to begin her Fulbright teaching assistant position, working in two high schools in Linz, Austria. My husband and I are so proud of her.

Leann Harris said...

Allie, share your pain. Mine were 3 years apart, and no planning went into that. So with the younger child, we begged him to go to community college. He was okay with that. When he went to UT, he was ready to study and pay attention to his classes.

Allie Pleiter said...

All great comments! Thanks for sharing!