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This year’s annual Graduation Gift Guide is tinged with joy, pride, and heartbreak because this year, my son, Will, graduates. We picked up his cap and gown last week, and I’m not going to lie – it was a punch in the gut. All too real evidence that he is graduating high school and moving on to college. That he is launching into the world and is going to be left to his own devices. Is he ready? Have I prepared him enough? Am I ready? Am I prepared? We have worked so hard to get to this place, and now that we’re here, I want to go back. I want to go back to volunteering in his kindergarten class, to the fourth grade Jamestown field trip, to the playdates, and to little league baseball games. Yes, I am that mom who will miss Back to School Night and pictures on the first day of school. I cry when I say the pledge of allegiance at school. Oh, and then there were the chorus concerts and terrible yearbook pictures. Kathy promised me that I would be ready for my kids to go off to college and leave the nest, but I’m not so sure I am.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am beyond excited for Will’s next adventure and cannot wait to see what good he brings to the world. I am ridiculously proud of him for working through his ADHD and getting his diploma. In the Fall, he’s headed off to Champlain College in Burlington, VT, to study video game design. Yes, soon enough, his is the name you’ll be cursing when your child refuses to put the controller down or says, as Will so often has, “Mom, it’s an online game, I can’t pause it.” A 65 billion dollar and growing industry, video games are big business, and the industry is getting more and more competitive. Please wish him luck as he moves on to bigger and better things and be so kind as to hand me a tissue when you see me this fall.

For all of you who have a graduate in your life, here is just a small selection of gifts that will send them off in style.

Pizza Czar, $35; Lavender Aromatherapy Eye Pillow, $32.00; Catstudio Pillow, $192; Catstudio Glass, $17; National Parks Leather-bound Guide, $42; How To Be President Puzzle, $15.99; Toiletry Bag, $44; Chocolate-covered Almonds, $16

Penny Post: Graduation Card, $6; Graduation Card, $6; Thank You Cards, $20; Texttime Bamboo Clock, $290; Weekly Planner, $16; Monthly Overview Notepad, $20; Limited Edition Appointed Notebook, $25; Kaweco 60’s Swing Student Rollerball, $64; Special Edition LAMY Aion Dark Green Fountain Pen, $89