I long ago lost count of how many graduations I’ve attended over the years. Suffice to say, I’ve been to a lot. There are the years of my own graduations and those of my friends – high school, college. Then we had students we worked with begin graduating. Then we went to seminary and another round began. Then Craig began teaching in a high school and the rest, as they say, is history.
I love the symbolism and significance of graduations, but, honestly, I don’t always love attending them. They can be long, tedious, and sappy. Sometimes you are forced to bear that burden on behalf of people you don’t even really know. Sometimes others are forced to bear it on your behalf. But the one we attended last night at Petra Academy, was both a joy and an honor. I can’t remember the last time I thought that after attending a graduation ceremony.
The speeches given by the Valedictorian and Salutatorian were excellent as was the faculty charge. I’m still kind of shaking my head at the wonder of it all and I’m tempted to ask the students who spoke if I can have copies of their speeches to share here. But I’ll respect their night of wonder and let it stay in my memory.
Even though I don’t know the eight students who walked across the stage and into the next phase of life last night very well, I expected to feel a bit overwhelmed by the nearness of this same experience to my own girls. Next year Maddie will make this trek, quickly followed by Chloe the year after. The older I get, the more freely the emotions show themselves in public, despite my best attempts to prevent them from doing so. But I didn’t cry last night and I’m still a little surprised by that.
I’m sure I won’t be able to say the same this time next year. Oh, 2016-2017, you are coming way too quickly. There’s someone in my house who is totally ready for you. That someone is not me.