I’m in Washington, D.C. for my daughter Christina’s college graduation. Wow, the emotions are swirling! Just last year, our first child, Katherine, graduated from college. And now Christina.

It was a blink of an eye ago that I was playing at the park with Christina, braiding her hair, having tea parties, reading her Goodnight Moon.

I’m so very proud of Christina. She challenged herself and she made it. I’m excited for this new phase of her life. Graduating is a thrilling experience but I know, for all these kids, it’s also scary because the list of unknowns goes on and on.

Where do they go? What do they do? Can they get a job? Does it pay? Do they have loans hanging over them? Do they move back home?

But for today, and for the next few days, I hope these graduates stay in the moment and let the questions rest. I’m going to try to do it myself. I’m going to pause during these festivities — pause in the wonder of Christina and pause in gratitude for this moment.

I want Christina to pause, too, so she can feel this experience and so when her own kids graduate, God willing, she can remember how she felt in this moment and how proud we all were of her.

And what a moment it is: Christina is graduating from Georgetown, my Alma Mater. Today, I will don a robe and walk in a ceremony with her. I’m sure there will be tears.

On Saturday, she will walk alone with her family cheering from the sidelines. That’s life — each of us have to walk into our own. If you are lucky enough, your family will cheer you on but you have to grab it and make it what you want it to be.

So, for all those graduating this weekend or during this graduation season, I say, “Bravo…congrats…you did it! The same goes for the parents.

Bravo, Christina! All of us — your dad, your brothers and sister and all your cousins, aunts, uncles and friends — love you so much and are so proud of you.

Join the conversation: Do you have a child graduating this year? Share a photo of them (and share your hopes for them) in the comments section below.

With love,



Image credit: JulieAnnArt  on Etsy

About the Author

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Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

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