Endings and Beginnings


“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Digital portrait by Alesha Sevy Kelley

This is Lee. Isn't he a handsome graduate?

What's up 2020? Yet another adaptation that 2020 brings to our home and millions of other homes is celebrating our 2020 graduate without an actual commencement ceremony. Our high school senior, Lee, is graduating as an honor student, a Utah scholar, a stellar skater, a manager at his workplace, and he’s just a go-gettin’ really good guy. 

Lee is our youngest and our only child left at home, so this is a very delicate and beautiful transition in our home as we continue to coach him while simultaneously letting go. A few years back, my husband and I would ride our bikes into Snow Canyon and up West Canyon where we could whip out our binoculars and monitor an eagle’s nest that was perfectly situated inside of a hollowed out little sandstone formation halfway up the face of a gigantic sandstone wall. We watched these little birds grow and eventually perch on the edge of the nest, all scraggly and unsure of themselves. 

We keep talking about that nest this spring… Partially because it was a springtime event, and partially because we are literally comparing our reality to this nest analogy. Our scraggly little eagle is perched on the edge of our nest, surrounded by Vans, skater shirts and art supplies, his eyes narrowed and looking into the future. He already knows how to fly...

Lee isn’t the kind of eagle to play it safe and find a grassy meadow to practice his flying. He would rather tip out of that nest on the edge of a huge rock formation and perfect his flight pattern while planning his next flight, his brain noting every muscle used in this flight to make the next one more smooth. His quick mind will surely be an asset as he navigates university experiences and refines the path he chooses to take.

I’m both excited for him and sad, to be honest. It’s been such a relaxing and easy couple of years that Lee has been the only kid at home. Something about having just one child at home allows a lot more freedom and flexibility and I know he has appreciated the extra space and trust. 

I met Lee when he was in first grade and now he is on the cusp of becoming a man! He has been such a great teacher to me, and he has overcome so many challenges. This young man is STRONG! And SMART! It hasn’t been an easy go for him, and that is how I can tell how much effort he has put into creating a life for himself that really does make him feel safer and more in control. Lee could have chosen so many different coping skills, and this kid chose to get outside, get physical and make super healthy choices. 

I am one proud Momesha - that’s my chosen family blend name the kids gave me, along with DadLee for our Lee who is a dad ;) Both Momesha and Dadlee are proud, excited and nostalgic about this time. This year’s graduates are indeed a special bunch, and they will no doubt show us just how far they can go regardless of the way the world changes. 

I have avoided portraiture for a long time, but in honor of Lee I gave my attempt at a portrait. I have yet to learn how to shadow a face without just looking dirty or like strawberries were rubbed into cheeks, but I plan on practicing lots more faces so I look forward to figuring that out!

Congratulations Lee IV! I am so proud! 

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