Our family will celebrate two milestones in May: our youngest child will graduate from high school and, after 30 consecutive years, I’ll retire from my job as a homeschool mom. This also means we’re in our final sports season with a child at home. We’ve cheered for our children at hundreds of baseball and softball games, as well as countless track and cross-country meets. So much is coming to a close.

To call it the end of an era feels like an understatement.

I’ll be glad to sleep in on Saturday mornings instead of driving to track meets. I’ll be happy to have the option of spending my day in heated or air-conditioned comfort, depending on the weather, instead of standing outside in 40-something degrees wearing three layers of clothes, or on the flip side of seasons, searching for a spot of shade under the team canopy in the sweltering heat. But I’d be lying if I said I won’t be sad about it too. It’s bittersweet, for sure.

I’ve known for years that this final graduation might wreck me emotionally (I shared my feelings about graduating our four youngest within a six-year period here), but admittedly, I’ve focused on how I feel about my daughter’s graduation much more than how I feel about mine. At long last, I’m beginning to glimpse the gift in it. There’s a feeling of lightness when you lay down something you’ve shouldered for a time. Thirty years of homeschooling eight children carries a weight of responsibility I’ve been blessed to bear, but I’m ready to release it.

Several friends graduate a child this year, some their first and some their last; for families with one child, it’s all of the above. Graduations bring transition. They disrupt our routines and change our roles. And for many of us, change can be difficult to embrace.

Please join me today at (in)courage for the full article. If you’ve graduated your youngest, I’d love to hear from you. If you’re graduating a senior this year, how do you feel?

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