When do you decide something is not worth pursuing? When do you decide to make something an issue or not? When do you let them just face the plain old consequences? When do you indulge their notions? When do you MAKE them do something?
My child number 2 is graduating from high school this year and child number 2 definitely gets notions. Like the time in 8th grade that she decided that she did not like the way we chose to spell her name and she changed it. Just like that. There ought to be a law. I think Madeline looks so much more elegant than Maddilyn. I am not one of those people who is into creative spellings of the originals. But I let it go. Even though it hurt my feelings a little. And even though I wish she could see how "hokey" the spelling Maddilyn looks. I mostly let it go because when I was in Jr. High I decided to change my name to Guinevere. I did not have the determination that Madeline has and did not carry this notion very far. I gave up pretty quickly.
Madeline's latest notion is about graduation from high school. We have only lived here in Massachusetts a year and three months and Madeline does not feel like that has been enough time for her to want to do all the graduation stuff at her high school. I have been thinking and thinking about this decision she has made. Will she regret it in years to come? No pictures in a graduation gown? No walking in rows with other kids....that she does not know. No memories? I think when she sees herself graduating she has always seen herself in Indiana so she can not wrap her mind around any other idea. And frankly I am okay with it.
I have never been the kind of mom to get too deeply into the ceremonies and rights of passage involved in life. I recognize them, understand their significance, but I do not obsess about them. I do not feel like I will die if I do not see my child in a cap and gown walking to Pomp and Circumstance with hundreds of other children. My only worry is that she may regret it. But isn't life full of regret from decisions we made? Honestly where does high school graduation fit into life? Would you be the same person you are today if you had not worn that gown and walked?
She is a straight A student. She was the captain of the track team. She made it to All State's in the hurdles and long jump. She is in National Honor Society. She took all AP and Honors classes. She got accepted to BYU with a half tuition scholarship. What more could a mom want? I probably should be grateful that she does not care what other people think of her and that she makes her own decisions. So I am going to let the "not going to actual graduation thing" go. I am going to make her write about her decision so she can have something to look back on years down the road when her kids want to know about her high school graduation. I am going to be grateful that I am saving all the money that graduation costs.
Did you ever miss anything that you wish you wouldn't have? I have a small list in my head of things I wish my parents would have MADE me do even though I know they never could have made me do them. We need someone to blame for our regret other than ourselves. :)