To My Son As You Graduate High School :: Call Ya Momma!
There is a quote by Michael Altshuler that I absolutely love and it states, “The bad news is time flies; the good news is that you’re the pilot.” You see I am the pilot in charge of my four kids, and the oldest is about to jump flight any day now. I had three children pretty quickly all while my husband was completing two fellowships, so I spent most of my time keeping my head above the clouds checking off the milestones one by one. Then life threw me a curveball and I had my 4th child ten years after my firstborn, and that’s when life got even crazier. At one point I even had four kids in four schools. I will honestly tell you that I was never a room mother or the volunteer of the year. Instead, I was the mother that showed up time and time again; never perfect but always present. My one goal in raising my children was to create a loving home. A home that they loved being at day in and day out, and a home that they would long to return to at any point in their lives.
I can certainly tell you as they were growing up, I looked forward to the major milestones… such as using the bathroom on their own, brushing their teeth by themselves, taking a bath without my help, and then leaving them home alone while running to the grocery store. At those moments I thought I was on top of the world, which I was, but with each passing milestone, I came to the realization that it was the beginning of the goodbye.
I now live the dream of going to Target alone with no kids, but in return, I have traded car seats for cars and soccer carpools for Uber accounts. The one thing that has not changed is the sleepless nights praying for their safety and protection.
In just a couple of days, my oldest will be graduating high school and heading off to college in the Fall. There are so many thoughts that fill my mind. Did I teach him enough things? Particularly, the kind of life lessons that only a parent can teach. Is he going to remember all the good times at home with just his family? Did I create a home that he longs to return to after weeks away at school? Is this the last time we will all be living together under one roof?
But there are also so many things I am certain of that I want him to know …
That he was the first person to ever call me mama.
That he is loved and cherished.
That he is and was a joy to raise and I have enjoyed watching him grow into a fine, young gentleman.
That even though I taught him many lessons, he taught me many more.
And that he can always come home.
In conclusion, I am reminded of a hand-painted sign on a light post I would see every time I drove him home from school. The sign simply said: “Call ya momma.” I would see that sign daily and would often think to myself, that this sign truly sums up everything.
So on the day I drop him off at college and say my goodbyes, my last words will be, “I love you, make good choices, and don’t forget to call ya momma!”
About the Author
Vivian Marino is a stay-at-home mom of 4 kids ages 18, 16, 14, and 8 who also recently launched Alliette NOLA. She’s been married to her husband Mark for 19 years and they live in the New Orleans Lakefront area. When she’s not busy attending football games, soccer games, or doing endless loads of laundry, she enjoys her weekly date nights with her husband and spending time with her kids doing outdoor activities. Her passion is all things fitness given that she has her Master’s in Exercise Physiology. On any given day, you can find her doing her favorite Hour Blast class or trying any new workout out in town. During the summer months, she hits the mountains and the trails doing what she loves the most … hiking! The harder the climb, the better the view!