But What About the Parents?

Written by Dafina Moore, head of circulation

As we draw closer to the end of June, we also near the end of graduation season. Ranging from elementary school “moving up” ceremonies to high school and college graduations, it is a time of hope, excitement, accomplishments, and new adventures. Those graduating from high school and college have reached a pivotal point in their lives. However, I dare suggest another group has also reached a pivotal moment in their lives: the parents of the graduates.

 

My second, and last, child graduated from high school this June and it’s been quite the emotional roller coaster since September 2022. Never mind that this child isn’t going away to school (they’re commuting instead.) Never mind that my oldest child came home for spring break 2020 and never left. I now have adult children who don’t need me for every little thing. I don’t have to make breakfasts or lunches everyday. I don’t have to make sure homework is done, chores are completed, bed times are adhered to, and activities are attended with all the proper equipment and snacks. My presence and guidance is not needed every step of the way. It is to be called upon when they want and need it, whenever that may be.

 

This is not easily managed after a lifetime of being the graduate’s go-to person. How do you reconcile not being the first person they turn to? How do you reconcile that they don’t need a ride everywhere they go? (That may not be so bad, honestly.) How do you reconcile that they want to hang out with their friends over you? Or that they no longer want to be cuddled the way they used to? How do you contend with the fact that they are looking forward, yet all you see is the little person they used to be, running to you with open arms?

 

It is sobering, it is hard, and it is bittersweet, but this is what we raised them to do. And we are not alone. If you need to laugh, cry, learn, heal, the library has something in the collection to help you to feel more supported in this new phase of life. Whether you see your exact self in the parents, or someone with whom you can only relate a little, check out our collections of books, fiction and nonfiction, and grieve those by-gone days. Don’t forget, however, to look forward to your own life; you can still dream big and bring those dreams to fruition.

 

Fiction Books

The Break-up Book Club by Wendy Wax

The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman

When I Was You by Amber Garza

Take It From Me: A Novel by Jamie Beck

Thinking of You by Jill Mansell

 

Nonfiction Books

HappiNest: Finding Fulfillment When Your Kids Leave Home by Judy Holland

Empty Nest, What’s Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind by Michele Howe

Emptying the Nest : Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success and Self-reliance by Brad Sachs

Letting Go and Finding Yourself: Separating from Your Children by Verena Kast

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