It seems like only yesterday that my twinkies walked across their elementary school stage, donning commencement gowns that swallowed up their little bodies and caps that danced on their heads.

Using their rolled-up diplomas as telescopes, they graduated from kindergarten with an eye more on playtime than their futures.

Twelve years later, Enrique and Robert – no longer boys but young men finding their place in the world – are set to walk a bigger stage. This May, my twins will graduate from high school, joining the thousands of others across the borderland who’ll mark this milestone with the shift of a tassel.

It’s one of the most bittersweet moments of parenthood.

You feel proud they’re spreading their wings, yet fear they’ll forget their roots. You’re confident you’ve prepared them to take on the world, but nervously accept they’ll likely take some missteps along the way.

It pulls on the heartstrings – hard.

And you can only hope that by example you’ve taught them more than they’ll ever learn in any classroom:

That compassion is not a weakness; forgiveness is strength; respect is earned; prayer is essential.

That life may not always be fair, but God always has a plan.

That unconditional love comes with heartache; that heartbreaks do not diminish love.

That you can excel at any career, however humble – but should remain humble no matter how much you excel.

That, like Lynyrd Skynyrd sings, “all that you need is in your soul,” so don’t be afraid to be “simple men.”

That though you’ll stand on your own, you can always lean on family.

And that no matter how old you get, how many stages you walk across, how independent or successful you become, you’ll always and forever remain mommy’s and daddy’s little boys.


Cindy Ramirez is the features and digital editor at El Paso Inc. She may be reached at features@elpasoinc or 915-534-4422 ext. 140.

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