In less than a couple of months our eldest son will be graduating high school, heading to Europe for a boys adventure and then starting college and the next chapter of his life. I couldn't be more excited for him, but selfishly I’m also a bit devastated! I can’t imagine him not being in our daily lives - the lively dinner conversations, the weekend trips to Tahoe for ski team and the noise. The laughter of teenage boys downstairs playing ping pong or pool, the loud shouting (sometimes profanity-laced) while competitively playing those horrible video games and the constant banter back and forth between the two brothers, who have seemed much closer with his impending departure. I won’t miss the laundry, the endless dross of cans, glasses, food plates & snack packages that somehow don’t make their way to the kitchen and the wet towels that lie in a heap 48 inches away from the hooks for which they were designed. And what about the socks? Under the coffee table, in the hallway, strewn about the bedroom.
I remember my mother complaining about my eldest sister and how messy she was, but then many years later when she visited her newly purchased home for the first time she couldn't believe how immaculate it was! But of course we love them unconditionally, regardless of the mess and the smells and when they leave our home they take a piece of our heart with them. I recently heard the term “Tow Truck Parent” (one who allows failure but is always there to pull their kids out of the ditch) in comparison to “Helicopter Parent.” I hope I am more of the former - that is certainly my intent.
I can’t help but compare the raising of a child to the building of a brand. Constant attention, nurturing, pushing and advocating on their behalf until the child/brand can speak for himself/itself. We still have another son at home and I will enjoy giving him the undivided attention he deserves (I will still have to deal with the messes) and we also have a fledgling brand. There is still much work to be done.
For graduation day I am prescribing myself and all my fellow mums out there, especially those who have traveled this path with me since kindergarten, a box of tissues (perhaps hung around the neck) and a stiff drink (or three). Moderation doesn't seem appropriate on this occasion! We need at least three forms of booze and something summery because the date is in June. A Pimm’s Royale fits the bill; spiked with an extra shot of gin - Ginny’s of course.
Good luck and cheers mums (and dads, of course)!
Ginny’s “Get-Through-Graduation” Cocktail
Stir 2 oz Pimm’s No 1 and 1 oz Ginny’s Gin with ice. Strain into a chilled flute and top with sparkling wine or prosecco. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and strawberry and a sprig of mint.
Send it, Jack!