growing up, graduation, and gratitude

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Dear Friends and Family,

Max has graduated high school! I still can’t believe it. So many of you have had a hand in raising this boy.

For those of you who were with me during the early and sometimes dark periods of new motherhood, thank you. 

You, who joined me at Tompkins Square Park and celebrated birthdays of my bright blond boy in very small NYC spaces, thank you. 

Those of us who together walked the city streets on 9/11 coming to terms with the fact that we were raising our children in a world very different from the one we were raised in….for your love, your hugs, your disbelief, and your witness to the good that we encountered during those days, thank you.

Those of you who were there at Moran’s when Bob and I got married and four year old Max stole the show with his dance moves and cartwheels, thank you for celebrating with us. 

And when we moved to KC,  for the incredible families who were forever fated to be part of our lives because of a kindergarten t-ball team at Leawood Parks and Rec, thank you for welcoming us and providing Max with some amazing playmates who will be his life long friends. (I didn’t fare so bad either with you awesome parents!) 

For all of you who helped keep me on task during soccer, football and baseball games - “Jen, Max is up.” Friendships were forged on those fields…especially the dusty hot baseball diamonds, THANK YOU!

For the boy moms, always the boy moms, those of us who tirelessly advocated for our active boys who struggled through a tough few years in elementary and middle school.

For those of you who companioned us through the deeply sad and tragic spring of 2011 when Ryan, Max’s half sister, died and then my mom’s death followed just six weeks later. And then in the summer of 2013 my dad’s death as well as my divorce from Max’s dad that fall. There is so much about that time I honestly don’t remember. It was a blur….but as much sadness and grief I experienced I always knew how deeply we were loved and supported. For letting Max sleepover, for helping at my mom and dad’s funerals and receptions, for dropping off little gifts and sending cards,  for checking in on me, thank you. You kept me afloat, as a mom, when some days I honestly thought I might drown. 

For those who helped through high school, hosting parties, keeping an eye out on Max, telling me how much you genuinely liked him (when his worst adolescent side was roaring at me), thank you.

For those who invited us to Cabo for an amazing memory making trip and the chance to get to know some of you better…wishing we had gotten to know each other sooner. Thank you.

Yes, this is Max’s time. But it’s also mine.

And honestly, I couldn’t have done it without you. Without each and every one of you.

So now my dear friends and family, we celebrate and send our boy into the world.

Salud! Slainte!

Thank you.