Dear High School Senior,

You’re going to be fine. You think you’re sprinting to the end of your race, but this isn’t even the bell lap.

Maybe you’ve tripped, or stumbled a little. Maybe you’ve hit your stride, oblivious to all the fuss. Maybe you face planted and now you’re lying on the track picking cinders out of your skinned knees and wondering if you’ll ever recover. Maybe your pace has slowed and you’re worried you won’t finish the race.

I’m here to tell you, you have time, you’re not behind anyone, and you don’t even know what cool medals await.

Those people you’re trying not to hear? The ones saying you can’t do this, you must do that, I don’t pick you, watch out!, be careful!, behave!?

They’re up in those stands, and hovering around those blocks, and pacing you from the edge of the track because they love you. They’re not yelling at you. They’re cheering for you. You have so many more fans than you know.

The trick is to stay in your lane, because this race is your own. Feel a whoosh as though someone has just sprinted past? An honor you strove for but didn’t receive? A role you desperately wanted that went to someone else? A team you didn’t make? A skill you didn’t master? An invitation that never came your way?

Stick to your lane, chin up, eyes forward, shoulders back, breathe. There are even better things ahead.

All the glorious drama of these past four years may lead you to believe that this is the end game. But, the truth is, we don’t raise our kids to be high school students, we raise them to be human beings. You need to know that, and we need to remember it too.

Real life waits just around that curve, with people you’ll love more intensely than you thought possible, adventures that will blow your mind and cool jobs you don’t even know exist right now.

Set your own pace, but keep moving forward. Strive.

You’ve got this.

I promise.

Charlie's graduation pic 2005
We saw our first kid graduate in 2005. Charlie waited until the very last minute to make his college decision and ended up loving his school. I had no idea until this very second how sparkly his graduation gown was.
for katherine 027
Katherine’s graduation in 2007 was postponed dramatically and for days due to a tornado warning. She ended up graduating alone with her choir, just before they left on an overseas trip. That ceremony turned out to be one of our favorites.
I love this picture of Vinnie smiling big as he makes his way through the gym in 2011.
Molly's graduation gown
This gown and cap waits for Molly’s walk down the gym floor on June 2. Looking at this picture, I can’t help but hope…she remembers to pick up her tassel. But, seriously, they all earned these gowns at their own pace and with their own set of triumphs and setbacks. And today, they’re all just fine. You will be too. Now, go get ’em!

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