Up until recently, Pam Dusbabek saw high school seniors as independent beings — ready to be adults "without so much as a nod to the parents standing there in the background." However, this mom learned an important lesson right before her child's graduation.
"Admittedly, my ignorance was bliss," she wrote in a heartfelt post on Love What Matters Facebook page. "This is my year to be the parent in the background . . . and it's a whole lot different than I ever thought it would be, and I was not prepared for this."
Pam explained that as she and her husband are in the midst of making all of those final preparations for their daughter's major milestone, she has been hit with a simple and unexpected truth. "Graduation is NOT all about the graduate. It is a delicate tangled mess of emotions, memories, and stories of her life," she wrote. "It is her story, no doubt, but it is also ours."
From the day this child was born, Pam and her husband started their daughter's story and have "filled the pages of her life" every day since. "Graduation is not about her writing her own story now, it is about passing the pen," she wrote.
From making sure the cap and gown was picked up and senior photos were taken to pouring over every detail of the graduation celebration, Pam has been a part of every detail but there is one task that has hit her the hardest: picking out pictures for the party. "Photo after photo, our little girl grows up right before our eyes. Not that we didn't see it coming, but there is something about seeing a life progress in a matter of a few photo flips," she wrote. "We carefully select which photos to display, which photos will best tell our guests the story of her life. With each photo flip — every memory captured in ink — I started seeing something else. I saw US."
As Pam and her husband get ready to celebrate their daughter's major accomplishment they also prepare to slip into the background together. "We give each other a slight smile through teary eyes . . . and we whisper, 'We did it.' We celebrate us. Our story. Our struggles. Our successes. Our journey. Our graduate," she wrote.
Pam also has an important message for everyone that she hopes is shared throughout graduation season:
The next time you attend a graduation party, see a graduate, or know someone who has a child who is graduating. Congratulate them, it is (after all) quite an accomplishment. Tell them how proud you are of them and wish them luck on their new life adventures.
Then… look just past them to the background where their parents are inevitably standing. Go hug them and say, 'You did it.'