Mariska Hargitay Reflects on Watching Her Son Graduate: ‘Where Does the Time Go?’

Mariska Hargitay gets emotional as her son August graduates high school, reflecting on time’s passage.

Mariska Hargitay shares a selfie with her son August. (PHOTO: MARISKA HARGITAY/INSTAGRAM)
Mariska Hargitay shares a selfie with her son August. (PHOTO: MARISKA HARGITAY/INSTAGRAM)

Mariska Hargitay, best known for her longstanding role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, recently experienced a poignant moment as a parent.

At the first-ever Gotham TV Awards on June 4 2024, where she was honored with the Anniversary Tribute, the 60-year-old actress opened up about the bittersweet emotions she and her husband, Peter Hermann, are feeling as they watch their oldest son, August, graduate from high school.

During her acceptance speech, Hargitay shared, “You know, my husband Peter and I are in the process of watching our oldest son graduate from high school, and we’ve been shuffling around our house for the last few months just muttering, ‘Where does the time go? Where’s the time go? What happened?'” Hargitay’s voice cracked with emotion as she reflected on this significant milestone.

The journey to this moment has been filled with a mix of pride and anxiety. In a recent appearance on Live with Kelly and Mark, Hargitay proudly announced that her 17-year-old son would be heading off to college. She candidly discussed the stress involved in this transition, both for parents and their children.

“It is so stressful, and I thought that it wouldn’t be because I’m very much like, ‘You will end up where you’re supposed to be,’ and he did, but you can say that all you want until you go through it. It’s so hard, and it’s so stressful for these kids,” she explained.

Hargitay’s humor shines through even in these emotional times. She joked about her plans to stay close to August, saying, “The joke has been with August that wherever he goes to college, I am buying an apartment.

Mariska Hargitay at the inaugural Gotham TV Awards on June 4, 2024. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JOHN NACION/VARIETY VIA GETTY)
Mariska Hargitay at the inaugural Gotham TV Awards on June 4, 2024. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JOHN NACION/VARIETY VIA GETTY)

That is the joke. I say to him every time, like if he goes on a date I go, ‘So, what time should I meet you guys?'”

Besides August, Hargitay and Hermann are parents to two other children, 13-year-old Amaya and 12-year-old Andrew. Balancing a successful acting career and motherhood, Hargitay has often spoken about the joys and challenges of being a parent.

In a January interview with PEOPLE, she expressed her gratitude for becoming a mother later in life. “I’m so grateful that I’m an older mom. Grateful that I became successful older,” she said. “I don’t know if I could have handled it when I was younger.

When I was younger I wasn’t as present but as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to accept and appreciate.”

This period of reflection and transition seems to be bringing Hargitay closer to her family. She emphasizes the importance of savoring each moment and sharing her life lessons with her children.

“And now I’m going to savor this moment. I want to share my lessons and where there is pain that I can fix that really inspires me to lighten the load,” she shared.

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann pose with their three kids at the 2023 Stuttering Association For The Young (SAY) Benefit Gala. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY)
Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann pose with their three kids at the 2023 Stuttering Association For The Young (SAY) Benefit Gala. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY)

Hargitay’s reflections resonate with many parents who have experienced similar milestones. Watching a child graduate is a moment filled with pride, nostalgia, and a hint of sadness as they step into a new phase of life.

The actress’s candidness about her emotions offers a glimpse into the universal experience of parenting – the joy of seeing your child grow and the ache of realizing how quickly time passes.

As Hargitay continues to navigate this new chapter, she does so with the same grace and resilience that has defined her career.

Whether on screen as Olivia Benson or off-screen as a mother, Hargitay’s dedication and love shine through. Her story is a reminder of the fleeting nature of time and the importance of cherishing every moment with loved ones.

For fans of Hargitay, her reflections provide a touching insight into her personal life, beyond her role as a TV icon. It’s a testament to her ability to connect with her audience, not just through her acting but also through her relatable experiences as a mother.

As she stands on the threshold of watching her son embark on his college journey, Hargitay continues to inspire with her openness and heartfelt reflections.

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