Post written by Donald Swartz, President and Principal at Swartz + Associates, Inc. | Lover of Chiefs, Royals and golf | Avid “Cruiser” | Poker Enthusiast
This May my family will be celebrating two graduations in our household. On consecutive weekends, my daughter will be graduating from college and my son will be graduating from high school.
As many parents will attest, the time certainly flies by. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re likely aware of my annual road trips with my daughter to start her Fall semesters and our various stops along the way.
It’s amazing to me that those four years…and our version of “college road trips”…are coming to an end.
Likewise, with my son’s high school graduation, we’ll be winding down the number of times we play ping pong while the Royals games are on in the background. This has been our almost-nightly ritual for the past several years.
Of course, it was much more enjoyable during the 2014 and 2015 seasons than our current start to 2018. But traditions die hard and I fully expect more ping pong battles until mid-August.
The Empty Nest Stage Begins
Yes, we’ll be joining the ranks of the empty nesters in the Fall and frankly, we’re very excited about the opportunities in front of us. Both kids will be on the East Coast (ish) and we look forward to traveling to visit.
We also look forward to traveling other places and to getting back to the pre-kid days of spontaneity. We’ll cherish a home free of clutter, or at least the thought of becoming clutter-free. And, we await the days of not worrying about whether our son will be home for dinner or what his weekend plans may entail.
There are a few things we do know…things we’ve learned when as we’ve matured, lived on our own, and things we’ve learned as a result of parenthood.
To our daughter Miriam…
It’s a big world out there and it’s full of opportunity. The key is to make the most of what is afforded you.
This is the time to take chances, to explore offers you may have never thought about or even considered, and a time to take your independence to another level.
College provides the foundation to show you can survive and thrive in the world. The “real world” allows you the chance to apply these educational and social skills you’ve developed and put them to use.
To our son Aaron…
While you’ve developed friendships dating back to preschool, the concept of living 24/7 with a roommate(s) (known or unknown) can be a little scary.
Your chosen university allows you the chance to interact with people from a very different geographical perspective.
Experience everything campus life has to offer and force yourself to routinely get out of your comfort zone.
Your high school friends are always a text, Snapchat, Facebook, Group Me (fill in the social medium of choice) away, but your college friends will live the same experiences morning, noon and night.
This is very powerful and will allow you to spread your wings in ways you’ve never imagined.
To both kids…
You’re ready to tackle whatever lies in front of you. You have a great support system of friends and family. We’re thrilled (and proud) to see you take your next steps in life!
Exciting times indeed. Congratulations to proud parents and graduates everywhere!