06/03/2015 05:38 pm ET Updated Jun 03, 2016

Why We're So Proud of You ... and of Us ... on your Graduation Day

Tomorrow you will graduate from elementary school. Tomorrow we will all sit in little folding chairs in the cafeteria, watching proudly as you and your classmates line up and walk onto the stage to receive your diplomas. Tomorrow, when you look out into the sea of parents, you will see all of us together, side by side: your mom, your dad, your step mom, your step dad, and maybe even a few relatives and step-relatives. Tomorrow as you graduate from elementary to middle school, so too have we graduated from the awkwardness of a newly divorced family forced into uncomfortable situations to the casual ease of a blended family bonded together forever by one common denominator: YOU.

It wasn't always this easy. It wasn't always this comfortable. I remember your first day of kindergarten, when I was still new to this family and neighborhood. I'm pretty sure that you and I were sharing the same uneasy feelings and thoughts: "Will the teacher like me?" "Will I make any new friends?" "What if no one likes me?" From the very beginning, you showed me how to find my place in your life. You even gave me a title, "Extra Mom," and introduced me this way to your teachers and friends. From that point forward, everything fell into place. Because of you, we all learned the importance of co-parenting. Because of you, we all learned that it's okay to attend parent-teacher conferences together. Because of you, together we did homework, worked on school projects, attended after-school activities, and went on field trips. We went to doctors appointments as a group, and though we often needed to drag more chairs into the little room, the collective concern about you was apparent. We are a team, and you are our mascot. You have been pivotal in bringing all of us together into one big, weird, blended family! And though others often stop and stare, it simply works.

I know I can speak for all of us, when I tell you how very proud we all are of you. It is a privilege to be part of your life, watch you mature, and witness you accomplishing so much. Congratulations on your graduation day! We love you.