Back from the Archives - Encouraging Words
For many parents, this time of year is bitter-sweet with Mothers' Day, prom, and graduation all within a few days of each other. Sweet memories of the arrival and growing years of our children flood our minds. The smiles, touch of little hands on our faces, and the unconditional expressions of love make every Mothers' Day special. Even when those same children become teens, the memories are still sweet as we accompany them to get their very first driver's license, sit in the stands rooting for them at sporting events, stay up late waiting on them to return from a date, encourage them as they begin filling out college applications, accompany them to pick out (and pay for!) a prom dress or tuxedo, nurture them when they get overwhelmed by life, and pray for them as they prepare for young adulthood.
Then, low and behold, those teens are getting ready for Junior/Senior prom and their emotions run high. The pictures, the glamour, the friendships all add up to make special memories for the students and the parents alike. A few days later, your child is walking across the graduation stage with his or her classmates. Holding back the tears can be difficult as you realize that your "baby" is about to wing flight to unknown territories.
I thought this would be a good time to dedicate my column to the parents of the class of 2012. A few years ago, I printed a poem by Michael H. Popkin, author, parent education expert, and former child/family therapist. The words are very appropriate as parents prepare to "let go."
A Final Gift: Letting Go
Boats in the harbor are safe near shore
Far from the unknown sea.
But just as boats were made for more,
It's the same with you and me.
Those who would anchor their teens with a stone
In hopes of preventing a wreck,
Find that their fears are never undone,
And the stone ends up weighing both necks.
So I give to you a port called home
Where your ship was built so strong,
And if you need to harbor here,
You know that you belong.
And I give to you the maps you'll need
That you may set the course
For places that I'll never see,
So go without remorse.
Tilting your sails into the wind
With hope, and vision, and courage -
I kiss you once, then touch your chin
And wish you bon voyage!
The world can be tough sometimes, but with a safe harbor for our teens, they always have a welcoming place! To the class of 2012, our prayers are with you! Stand strong in your faith, make smart decisions, choose friends wisely, and don't be swayed by the bad temptations that will surely come your way.
Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone
903-439-4909 - fax