It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!

I’m not usually one to host events, mainly because I have not had the life experiences which require them. However, this weekend is FINALLY going to be my son’s graduation, and we are partyin’ in style tomorrow.

This year is so weird. Nothing has been normal. My son lost out on his last year of trap shooting (something he excelled in), and graduation got pushed back over a month later to this Sunday. His original open house was supposed to be on May 10. Now here we are, over a month later, getting ready to finally celebrate the end of this chapter.

I wish I had the gift of being able party plan. However, all of the responsibilities and stresses seem to end up in a jumbled ball in my mind. I have all the food purchased – I think. I have a venue rented that will provide far more room than my little ol’ house will provide. I have to pick up $120 worth of queso today (3 gallons) to serve as the focal point of the nacho/taco bar (totally worth it). I prepared two photo boards to show my son through the years. I made a slide show to play during the open house. However, after all of this preparation, I have this nagging feeling like I’m forgetting something.

I know that in the end it won’t really matter. My son will have his party, he will graduate on Sunday, and then that chapter of his life will be over.

I am still trying to grapple with the strangeness of having him move into his own apartment. He pops in almost every day (mostly to eat food, it seems), but it’s not the same. He is excited about venturing off into his own life and I am sitting here looking at pictures while making his display boards totally dumbfounded that life has raced by the way it has.

When I was a young mom and overwhelmed with everything regarding working full time and the stress of parenting a strong-willed child, I remember thinking that the years would stretch out endlessly – that this day I’m looking at would never come. I wish I could go back to that stressed-out mom and tell her that those days, no matter how stressful they were, are the good days. Things I thought were SO IMPORTANT actually weren’t. I stressed out over so much regarding parenting (usually involving other people’s opinions on how to parent) that I would be miserable, berating myself daily for not parenting like other moms.

The best advice I can give to new moms today is this: Do what feels right to you. You are the mom, you know your child, and you are free to parent how you think is best. It is exhausting trying to live up to other people’s expectations.

Ok, now that I’ve wandered down that side road, it is time for me to grab the bottle of cleaner and go back to cleaning the house like a madwoman.

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