Understanding I risk putting words in someone’s mouth, I’d like to have a chat with the Class of 2012 on behalf of parents everywhere.
I’ll be brief.
Most of us would give extremities to be in your position.
Young, talented, ambitious, energetic, brave and with no strings tying you down.
We understand you’re excited. We were too what seems like not so long ago.
That’s why we want you to slow down and enjoy every minute of this precious time in your life. Before you embark on whatever adventure the world has in store for you, savor the small things that we promise you’ll come to miss one day.
Take your dad to a baseball game, go on a day trip with your mom, build a fort with your little sister, take your grandparents out to dinner, mow your neighbors lawn or tell that teacher or coach how much they really meant to you.
You never know when one of the above will no longer be around, and now is a perfect time to show them you care. There will be plenty of Friday nights with your friends.
If it’s one thing I’d like each of you to leave high school with, it’s knowing that we love you unconditionally. By “we,” I mean your parents, family, friends, community, state and nation.
Go ahead and roll your eyes, but you are worth far more than anything money could ever buy. For 18 years your parents have done their best to nurture and protect you, so forgive them for being a bit emotional right now. It spouts from a love we hope you’re fortunate to experience one day. As a community, you represent the best we have to offer.
You are the future, and soon you’ll inherit a country we’re in the process of trying to fix right now. Until then, we hope you’ll take your newfound independence and (safely) discover the world’s wonders.
But no longer will you be treated like a child—not by your parents, the government or the law. Real consequences will now accompany your actions. Think of your parents when you find yourself in a compromising situation.
Call if you’re in trouble. They’ll come. No questions asked. You’ll be glad you did.
To that end, use your high-speed phones to stay in touch with your mother. A simple e-mail, text or (gasp) call goes a long way toward easing her angst.
For some of you, life’s travels won’t lead you very far from home.
Conversely, I can’t help but smile thinking about how others of you can’t wait to get as far away from home as you possibly can. I was that way once. You’ll eventually learn that home isn’t so bad.
Broaden your horizons—travel, find new music, high five a stranger, stay up to date on the state of your Union and always wear your seatbelt.
In closing, I’d urge you to try and leave things better than you found them. We know you will.
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