“You won’t cry.”
“Hmmm. I probably will.”
This brief exchange occurred a couple months ago between Ali and I. We were discussing her upcoming high school graduation and college move-in day. Her shock at the fact I admitted I’ll cry isn’t surprising since I’m not usually a tearful mom. Todd and I joke that his heart, especially when it comes to our girls, is much bigger than mine in many ways, yet I find myself with tear-filled eyes more often now.
The tears I foreshadow will not be ones of sadness. I’m not sad to see Ali grow up and move on in her life. The tears will be filled with a proudness of her accomplishments and hope for her future. How else do I know I’ll shed some tears? Because two years ago I shed tears after Amy’s birthday . Those tears were also filled with pride, but there was sadness and anger too.
As Ali and I finalized her graduation open house invites this weekend, I kept thinking back to two years ago and the struggle to not only figure out Amy’s graduation celebrations, but also all the legalities of having an adult-child with special needs. When Amy turned eighteen a fear overtook me. The guardianship wasn’t close to being finished. What if something happened to her? Who would speak for her? What if she was in an accident? Who would make her medical decisions?
As Ali approaches the age of legal adulthood next month, I have fears for her too, but they are much different. What if we haven’t taught her enough life skills? What if she struggles with her college courses? What if she gets caught up with the wrong people? I know she’ll be a legal adult and will be responsible for her decisions. Why doesn’t that scare me more? Is it because she’s ready for the next step or because it’s so different than two years ago? Whatever it is, I’m still certain there will be tears in my eyes as she blows out 18 candles, and those tears might even be a reflection of my hidden sentimental heart.