I like schedules, planning, knowing what is coming, and pretty much pretending that I am in control which I know deep down I am not at all. I don’t like change and transitions are hard for me. When there are lots of changes I feel it like a small storm under the surface and I try to slowly navigate the emotions but sometimes I push them aside to deal with another day because…well, they are hard. Sometimes even the most beautiful transitions are hard for those left behind.

There are so many things I am proud about when it comes to our children. The list is so long but one of the most beautiful things to watch as a parent is to see them become THEM. To carry these little lives, teach them to read, love on them when they are sick, listen when they are in pain, support when you don’t always agree and help them follow their own path has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

I always wanted to be a mom just like I always wanted to be an artist. They are both truths I knew about myself from a young age. I have not always done it “right”, been patient, known how to handle difficult situations or been the mom I wanted to be. My parenting has been full of mistakes and asking for forgiveness and also doing so many things that I am really proud of.

When our Jack left for college three years ago I didn’t know you could be so sad and so proud at the same time. Kelly and I would find each other in the house those first few weeks without him and be in tears.  Jack is now going into his senior year and we cherish each summer home, visit during the school year and the complete joy we have in seeing him becoming. Now, it is Madolyn’s turn and it doesn’t feel easier. She is my only girl and she is going far away and it hurts already just thinking about it. Our family of five went to four and now will be going to three. Launching those that you love out into the world holds so many emotions. You also realize that we get to have these beautiful humans for such a short period of time and I want to rewind a bit and to have some do overs. Please, just a few do overs. I need more time. I can do that one thing better. I didn’t think it would go this fast. But it did and here we are again ready to launch our Maddy out into the world and in the same breath have one on one time with Ben like never before. Transitions.

So many of you have watched our children grow up over the past fourteen years and I wanted to thank you for being some of the eyes that have seen them become. Thank you for celebrating them, praying over them, and loving them during live workshops. I am pretty private and the older the children have become the more I have chosen to not share about them but with Maddy’s permission I wanted to share images of her graduation party and the video we made for her.

We have homeschooled all of our children and Madolyn graduated high school with 38 college credits (4.0 and the President’s list), finished her 13th year of classical piano training, taught beginner piano lessons for the past 3 years, has been in charge of almost every live workshop at our home for years when I am teaching (she will tell any one of you what to do), has been my helper at workshops abroad, has edited almost every guest teacher class over the past four years, takes care of me while I am sick like no one else, is so smart, funny and fun, loves our cats more than she loves us, has big dreams, is one of the most dedicated humans I know, her writing and lyrics in general are one of her most beautiful gifts, she is loyal and loves well, she is feisty, she feels deeply, she is the best beach/relaxing partner in the world, she is a lover of books and her room is the grossest thing you will ever see. I could go on and on but the bottomline is my heart is so broken and in the same breath so excited for this child of mine to launch.

Maddy is headed to Belmont University in Nashville and will be studying music business and songwriting. Nashville, get ready for me to visit even more because you will now hold my heart.

Maddy’s graduation party was full of friends, family, cupcakes, Chipotle and music.

The concert was supposed to be out in the garden but we had heavy rains and hail so we enjoyed a beautiful studio concert by Jack’s very good friend Jillian!

It was such a sweet night celebrating Maddy!

Jillian Shively Music