Dear Ronna and Mara:
This period marks such a milestone to you and your family, with a high school graduation and a college graduation in the same year. For us parents, it is a time for quiet gratification that we have seen you through this far in your young lives. We look back through the years from the day we first witnessed you opening your eyes and through the milestones you achieved.
We are filled with aspirations for your success, and more importantly, your sense of fulfillment and happiness. At the same time, there is a dread in our hearts that you will take your leave one day, as you should, in order to carve out your own destiny. You are doves we need to set free so you can soar. The world is yours to discover and conquer.
You know deep in your hearts we are and will always be here when you need us. No longer are we your “managers and coaches.” We will transition to be mere consultants, albeit loving ones. We are your sounding board. We will cheer you on. Our home will always be your refuge when you need some respite. Here you can always come to lick your wounds when you fall. And we will help you pick yourself up again so you can go out there to duke it out with the world, mano a mano.
We know that you will experience love, loss, confusion, and even failure. They are life’s greatest teachers. We cannot spare you of them. They are inevitable and even necessary. We parents know that it would only be a tremendous disservice to you if we shielded you from life’s ugly cohorts from hereon. It would mean depriving you of the many exquisite pleasures you will experience surmounting each challenge that dares cross your path.
Through your journey, you will meet successful people who you would admire and even choose to emulate. You will see that they have their own trials. They will tell you that it is these challenges, some losses, and failures that have grounded them and helped them hone in their skills so they can volley with better ammunition to their wins.
We hope you will not give up easily. Not when things don’t seem to be going as you would like. Not when you encounter rigid walls and tall mountains. Not when you are told you do not measure up. We hope all these would only strengthen your resolve to do better, to be better. We want you not to forget that just the possibility of a peak into enlightenment, fulfillment, and achievement is enough to let life in.
Graduation is the beginning of the rest of your life they said. Education is a journey, not an end point. But education is no longer limited to a classroom with four walls. The world is a classroom. We are all perpetually learning.