My two daughters (twins, you know) both graduate from college (Hey, I had them when I was 12...ish) this weekend. Yes, at the same time--well a day apart, but in different areas of the country. Their father and I are quite used to the divide and conquer strategy required when one has twins. Throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, we split up on open house. I took one kid to college, he took the other (because they started at the same time, you know); I'm attending the kid-whom-I-didn't-take's graduation in Massachusetts, and he's flying to Atlanta for the other's. And then they will have their own lives. (Yeah, yeah, I'm not going to talk about boomerang kids; one is already gainfully employed, and the other majored in CS and hasn't started her search yet because she was doing schoolwork, but we have no doubts she soon will be a productive member of society.)
Have you ever wondered why it's called commencement? Because it is a new beginning. One stage of life ends because a new one is about to begin. That's what my girls are facing next week--the commencement of their next lives. Because I firmly believe we have life stages. First we're children, then teenagers, then adults. Then job holders, spouses, parents, grandparents, retirees, etc. I was a teacher for seven years (I quit a year ago--a whole other story), now I write full-time in addition to family duties, which I did before, but this time I don't have little ones running around while I attempt to create. And I'm still in development. My trilogy just finished up (The Wish List, As You Wish, Wishful Thinking) and right now I have nothing coming out from a major publisher (but my agent is shopping around a ms as I type this), and I'm getting ready to release my second self-pubbed title (The first was a backlist historical romance, Temptation's Warrior). And I'm still working on that next step. Success has been elusive (my definition of success in any case), but I've had a little, and I'm still plugging away.
That's the great thing about commencement. It's a new beginning, the next stage, and you can have one at any time. You don't have to wait for January 1. You can start tomorrow. Or right now.
Congratulations, baby girls.
--Mom (I mean, Gabi)
Books I'm reading now:
Timeless by Gail Carriger
Just Down the Road by Jodi Thomas