What does one say about their own child graduating? All I can think is that I can't believe we're here! And that nobody really prepares you for this year. Sure, there are TONS of parenting books, but there aren't any books titled "How To Deal With Your Childs Senior Year of High School".
What I do know is that you can be as ready for it as you think, but you'll never be ready enough. From the "Last" First Day, to the "Last" Gym Class, to the "Last" Drama Season, to the "Last" Last Day, it's hard not to get wrapped up in the feels of them. It makes enjoying all the "lasts" so incredibly bittersweet. But enjoy them you do. The moments will make you so incredibly happy and proud that you'll wonder if you're "supposed" to be feeling that way. At least, that's how I was all year. I couldn't help but be excited and proud and anxious to see what the future holds for this incredible kid of mine. I thought I was supposed to be sad, and in many ways I was...but the joy at watching him prove that he's ready for the next adventure was so much more profound.
It will be hard to talk about Riley as an objective person, but I will try!
...Nevermind. I've tried, but I can't be unbiased. Riley is just a WONDERFUL kid. He is joy wrapped in energy wrapped in curiosity wrapped in so many other things that I can't even choose the right adjective! He is a leader, a helper, someone who actually cares about everyone! He's been through some rough friend struggles, but has come out a better person for it. He is the first to make friends with those that don't have any, as well as make friends with the most popular kid in class. He is someone I look up to. When he was little we always told him, "See a Need, Fill a Need"...and he has taken that quite literally. He's the first to volunteer for anything (much to my annoyance sometimes), he's the first to call out wrongs where he sees them, he's the first to answer a question he may not fully understand, and he's the first to take on a task that I often think is too big for him. I am SO GLAD that he has proven me wrong so many times. He has proven himself to be someone that his friends, his classmates, AND his teachers can look up to and depend upon.
While I am so incredibly sad that I won't get to hug him every night, and say good morning to him as he clomps down the stairs every morning, I am truly so excited to see him step boldly into this new and exciting phase of his life. He is ready. He is excited. And he is going to be just fine.
Riley, Cedarville doesn't know what's coming----but I know they'll grow to love you as much as we do (your family), as much as your friends do, and as much as anyone who has ever met you does.
I love you, kid! Go have an amazing adventure.
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