Graduation and Mother's Day Weekend... what a great combination!

This Momma is very proud of her kiddo's!

Yesterday my youngest graduated from University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign.  For four years we have been driving back and forth to support all of his efforts.  For four years he's been focused and driven.  For four years I worried that he wasn't making enough time for play, that he wasn't creating friendships that would last a lifetime, that he wasn't making time to laugh.

All my fears were put to rest yesterday.  He didn't want to participate in the ceremony, I didn't think it was important enough to push him to do so. Instead we spent the day going to his favorite spots, taking pictures and soaking up the memories of four years. Having Papa Del's Pizza and ordering Chinese take out from his favorite place.  Sitting on the floor of his first apartment laughing and enjoying dinner! Packing him up to move forward with life...

 He and I waited outside of physics hall for his friends, pictures were to happen with the whole group after the ceremony that my sweet boy decided to boycott.  I thought that I would be sad to not be there watching them recognize my wonderful son.  Instead, I completely enjoyed the one on one time with him.  I guess I get his not wanting to participate. I am not a fan of things like that myself.

After they all left the ceremony best stuff happened.  I loved watching my Cory and his friends interact.  I loved getting to meet Celia, the woman that guided him with his Senior Thesis, which won the best Senior Thesis Award.  How awesome is that? The words she said made my heart swell, it is an amazing feeling when you get to hear your own thoughts coming from an unrelated adult!

The guy I worried about, is not the guy I imagined him to be.  His friends are wonderful, watching them I realized that I was simply a photographer (not a very good one at that) snapping pictures of shared moments between people that had gone the extra mile together and were celebrating their successful journey.

Yesterday I found out that he has definitely grown up into a strong, intelligent, caring young man. With strong friendships that will help him through life.  He is ready for the next chapter and I want to be there to support his dreams and goals!

My girl was here too, she will graduate with her degree this coming week.  Like my boy she has opted out of the pomp and circumstance.  I am equally as proud of her, although she is not going to give me the option of taking a ton of goofy pictures in a gown too big wearing a goofy hat on her head.  She is too busy living her life to slow down for that. She was instrumental in his college journey and I am so thankful for the support she gave, I know he is too!

My Ava tried on her uncles hat, and smiled silly through it all... Someday I will get to take silly pictures of her to remind my heart of all her moments also.

Walking into the future!
I will watch them walk into the sunshine heading straight into a bold and bright future.  I am so very proud of those kids!  Correction I am so proud of those beautiful, bright, wonderful young adults that I have had the absolute pleasure of watching grow and reach for their dreams!

Kind of like my Mother did for me!  I hope that I have learned from her...

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