This is the season that older daughter will graduate from high school. This is my first child to do so, so I am walking in uncharted territory. I have no idea what to expect, except that a lot of Kleenex will be involved.
I remember little about my own high school graduation, but I do succinctly remember a picture I took with the six girls I counted as my closest friends during those years. I liked the picture well enough to have it framed, but I haven't seen it in years.
That day, as we cut up and smiled and laughed, we could never have nor would we have wanted to know what would happen in the years to follow. We learned what bad choices were, what infertility felt like, what spousal abuse was, and how to mourn a spouse gone too soon. But we also saw that the bonds that friendship had already formed over our high school years loved beyond bad choices, cried in unison on the tough days, and fiercely hung together to protect our friends.
The other night, at my daughter's graduation rehearsal, her group of giggly, graduating friends reminded me so much of myself and my friends 26 years ago. So here's a few helpful hints for this year's graduates and their best friends:
1. Love each other unconditionally, even if you have to tell each other some harsh truths. Girlfriends are forever, boyfriends are "whatever."
2. Accept that you all will change as you continue to mature and grow. You don't all have to love the exact same stuff your whole life.
3. Seek out your interests and your career goals, even if they are different than your friends'. If your friends really are your friends, they will appreciate your differences and support what you want.
So go wholeheartedly in the direction of your dreams, because we've got your back!!