The graduate

Written by Amy Banocy

June 13, 2023

What a whirlwind of a weekend we had, as we celebrated Andrew graduating from high school. To say I am proud of this kid, would be a huge understatement. As I sat high up in the stands at Eagle Bank Arena, watching my kid, I couldn’t help but keep smiling. I’d cried several times during the week, but in the actual hours of the grad ceremony, there weren’t tears, just smiles and all.the.feels! I watched as he listened intently to the class President give her speech (or at least it appeared he did!). I watched as he applauded and shouted out more people than I ever knew he knew. I watched as he proudly crossed the stage and accepted his diploma. I watched as he stood in recognition of receiving awards/accolades for Journalism Student of the Year, as well as graduating with Honors. This kid has grown into himself, found his passions, he works hard, plays hard, and has lots of fun with friends. Mostly, I continued to be filled with gratitude, that I am here, alive, and able to witness this incredible milestone.

The following day, we had a luncheon to celebrate Andrew’s graduation. Below is what I read (and yes, I cried)….

Andrew, to see the way that you have grown into the man that you are today is further affirmation for me that we all need to trust the process in life. 

You have grown from a boy, who seemed so unsure of himself, and the world around him, who questioned his decisions at almost every turn, into a strong, more than capable, incredible, witty, smart, funny, athletic guy with so many friends, intellectual, intelligent good decision maker, a guy who I absolutely adore and love spending time with. 

I’d love to say that dad and I played a majority role in that growth and I look at you and I honestly believe that many times we were trying to interfere in the life of a boy who actually knew exactly who he was in this world and was simply misunderstood. 

You deserve all the credit Andrew. You figured out so many of the things that worried me as your mom. When you were little people would tell me that you had an old soul and I used to not believe it, but I do now. I believe that you had more wisdom inside of you than many of us were capable of even fathoming at your young age.

What I saw as a stubborn and unruly at times child who I struggled with, knew that he was actually just growing into himself. He had the soul of a wise person in a young person’s body. 

Andrew, there’s so much I’m going to miss you when you go to school in two months.

Things I will miss:

Our snuggle time

watching you interact with tess

getting to see you and Jacob continue to grow closer

Watching you interact and play with Z

our chats

our walks

your tight hugs that are so filled with love

just seeing your smile every damn day

Watching you play hockey

Things I know won’t change:

My immense love and respect for you

Our deep and special connection

I’m so grateful that we have the relationship and friendship that we do now and man I wouldn’t trade any of those early years in because it meant that it got us to where we are today. I promise to continue trusting this process of faith as you head off to college. I know you are bound to make amazing decisions. Sure you’re going to screw up you’re gonna make mistakes maybe big ones and that’s OK that’s what life is about. I am confident that you have so much wisdom and that wisdom is going to take you exactly where you are meant to be in this world. I love you so much Andrew and I’m so proud of you. so proud to be your mom.

Andrew will be heading off to James Madison University in August, to the College of Media Arts and Design. It will be a hard transition for me and one I know he is so ready for! I can’t wait to see who he continues to become.

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  1. sally spivack

    Amy, you are one lucky mom to have that son and be brave enough to let him grow into himself .
    stay well and have a good summer.


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