The good news, first, is that our youngest child graduated from high school yesterday!! To some a monumental achievement, to others it’s a simple step on the way to fame and fortune and everything that goes with it (thanks Queen for the song lyric).
Sitting in the auditorium yesterday watching the graduates walk across the stage and listing to the 400+ names being called one by one I was uncharacteristically emotional. Probably this is normal I don’t mean to be rhetorical. But, I actually have probably only been to two high school graduations in my life before this one. My own graduation from high school in 1987 was NOT one of these. I was already in the Army in February of my senior year not wanting to waste a minute after I had enough credits to graduate. Therefore, I didn’t even attend my own graduation from high school. (Life lesson – slow down and enjoy where you are!!!)
Probably the first high school graduation I attended, then, was our daughter’s in 2004. There are a lot of mixed emotions when your daughter walks across the stage 7 months pregnant! There had been several weeks (or maybe months) during that time where she didn’t even talk to us or come home. To her credit she did forge on and complete her classes to graduate. For our family in general, this was not the grandest of seasons in our life. For a graduation gift she received a glider style rocking chair and footrest. She’ll turn 30 this year – you’ll read more of her story later this week so stay tuned!!
Our oldest son who is now 26 failed a class his senior year. It turned out, much to his surprise, they won’t let your graduate if you don’t have enough credits. And in order to get those credits you need to actually go to class (preferably not stoned) more than not. He didn’t want to go to summer school and it took him about two or three years to come to the point where he got a GED. No graduation ceremony with this route.
Our third child (my first biological child) did graduate high school and this is the second graduation ceremony I attended. His graduation was shadowed by the fact that he was living at the time in a group home for what I would term “wayward boys.” We drove him 1,400 miles to the mountains of the Northwest against his will in the fall of his senior year. He never actually attend the high school, but instead did an online curriculum. Also very glad that he accepted the challenge and the help he received there and that he was able to graduate in 2013. Looking back at where he is now in 2015 compared to where he was heading, I probably would have been happier at the time if I could see the future.
I did also think of my college graduation in 1994 yesterday as well. What I remember from that day is my wife was mad at me all day. Both her parents and mine were in town for the graduation. After the ceremony she went with her parents to pick up a cake and I went back to our house with my parents. We took some pictures and I took off my gown and downgraded into comfortable clothes. When my wife got home she was furious that I had changed before she got home to take pictures with me. I offered to change again or to simply put the robe on again but she didn’t want me to and stayed mad all day (and probably after that). This is what I remembered of my college graduation celebration yesterday.
So this brings us to our 3.6 GPA, going to Purdue, state ranked violin playing son. I thankfully have not allowed his recent “coming out” to affect my attitude toward how great this son has been (more on this later).
In all things I have seen his heart and determination. He is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I know. My concern with him is his desire to please. He knows the difficulties we have had with our older children so I think this makes hime think twice when making decisions. Though he does well, we encourage him to be himself and so slow down and to enjoy life where he is (in a healthy way). So far he is doing better than any of us have. Great job son, I am very proud of you!!