As we approach the solemn occasion of your high school graduation, it seems an appropriate time for parental confession.
Here it is.
We parents are liars, and have been lying to you for your whole lives. Please forgive us, but we had to, it was in your best interests, honest. We swear.
Let me explain.
At the moment of your birth, we were hit with the overwhelming rush of your astonishingly sudden reality. We just couldn’t believe you were here, now, and were so absolutely awesome to behold. In a very real way, we found ourselves witnessing the glory of God.
There was no way we could confess this to you and still be able raise you correctly. That’s how tyrants are created. We wanted to raise good human beings.
So we lived a lie, acting like you were just a regular kid, and while you could always pick up some sense of the truth, we did our best to keep hidden the fact that we loved and worshipped you as dreams incarnate, as the embodiment of immortal hope.
Of course, you spent much of your early years trying to dissuade us of this perception with middle of the night crying and truly toxic diapers. Neither changed how we felt.
You followed this with a long series of bruises, scrapes, cuts, contusions, cracked bones and lacerations of varying degrees. None of it mattered. You still shone as incomparable in our eyes.
You tested our patience, sometimes academically, sometimes socially, sometimes driving the car through the garage door. Didn’t matter.
You ate cake for breakfast, sugared cereal for dinner, or went vegan, just didn’t eat, or flirted with other caloric nightmares. Shook us to the core, didn’t change how we secretly saw you.
You dismissed our music as old, our movies as corny, our clothes as ridiculous, our presence as embarrassing, still you remained the be-all center of our lives.
And now you prepare to cross this stage, this metaphoric bridge marking your final steps from runny noses to running your own lives. And we can barely breathe. How can we express the experience of sharing a life with you, our perfectly imperfect, endlessly stunning offspring? We can’t, there are no words to express our humbling awe at what you’ve become.
So forgive us if the hugs linger a little longer, the stares don’t seem to end, and we can’t seem to let you go out into the world just yet. Today is a bittersweet wonder because we love all you’ve achieved, but know deep in our hearts that we will not be in your daily presence very much longer, and that is impossible for us to conceive of or embrace. So we ask one more thing of you today; keep us in the loop. Let us know how you are doing, let us bask in the glory that is you every once in awhile. We’ll lie to you and act like it is no big thing, but know in your hearts that it is everything to us, because you are.
Christopher Ryan is author of City of Woe, available on Kindle and Nook, and in print. For more info, click here.