Graduation Season

June 4, 2012

Tis the season…for graduations.  In our case, it’s our daughter Stephanie and the celebration is her graduation from high school.   As we did for her brother Nick, we hosted a big blowout.  A wide variety of family and friends showed up as part of the celebration.

It’s not just Stephanie’s graduation that we’re raising a glass for.  For my wife Sarah, who teaches kindergarten, it’s a celebration of the end of another school year.  For Sarah’s sister Liz, it’s a celebration of her birthday.  For me, it’s the end of another semester on my trek towards a Master’s degree and the knowledge that I have two classes left, plus my thesis.  At this time next year, I hope the celebration has my name on it.

It’s an odd feeling to have both kids finished with high school.  With one planning to live on campus and the other one staying at home, we can’t quite call ourselves empty nesters yet, but the time is coming soon.  Maybe this year, maybe next year, but it’s coming.

For any parent, I think this time frame leaves you just as confused as the day they were born.  In both cases, you know it’s a momentous occasion.  And you like to think you know what’s coming next, but you really have no idea.  You just hope you don’t do anything to screw up the works.

Not long after Nick and Stephanie were born, I read an article that said parenting is the one pursuit where the goal is to eventually put yourself out of a job.  You’ll always be their Mom or Dad.  But if you’ve done it right, they don’t really need you anymore.  Hopefully then, the time they spend with you from here on out is because they want to.

And maybe that’s the goal that most parents really work towards and pray for:  a child that is self-reliant, decent and able to make their way in the world; but who also wants to spend time sharing their life with you.  So here’s to graduation and the celebrations they bring, both now and in the times to come.



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