When my oldest son graduated from high school, a friend gave me the following poem. I don’t know who wrote it but it is so beautifully written and seemed to capture the emotions I felt at the time. I’ve shared it with so many parents since then.
This year is high school graduation week in the area I live. Many of my friends are experiencing, for the first time, the sentiments of this wonderful rite of passage. So this is for you!
Young People Are Like Kites
You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you’re breathless….they crash.
You add a longer tail….they hit the rooftop.
You pluck them out of the spout.
You patch and comfort, adjust and teach.
You watch them lifted by the wind
and assure them that someday they’ll fly.
Finally, they’re airborne, but they need more string,
and you keep letting it out,
and with each twist of the ball of twine,
there is a sadness that goes with the joy
because the kite becomes more distant.
And somehow you know that it won’t be long
before that beautiful creature
will snap the lifeline that bound you together
and soar as it was meant to soar….free and alone.
Only then do you know you did your job.