Whether you are a parent, student, teacher, or a friend to one of the aforementioned, you can feel it; there’s a certain amped up electrical charge coursing throught the air. This feeling might even take you back to your younger years; the feeling that so much has been accomplished, and so much is yet to come.
For me, I’m writing this as a friend to so many who have children graduating from high school this year, while reflecting on watching my oldest daughter proudly walk across the stage and receive that treasured piece of paper, last year.
These students, as well as their parents and teachers, have every reason to be so very proud. Personally, I believe graduating high school these days is far more of an accomplishment than it was when I graduated ~ a few years past the wonder years era. So much more seems to be expected of these students, at such a hurried pace; however, with the guidance of loving parents, inspiring teachers and counselors, these students prevail, up and over the very last hurdle.
While attending the graduation ceremony of Oldest Daughter, I was amazed by the speeches of some of the graduating students. While reminiscing over their last four years, they spoke of learning about: acceptance of oneself and others; failure and its benefits; breaking out of one’s comfort zone, in order to live your life; and, while not always having the best materialistic items (building facility, uniforms, activity buses)… they managed to come out on top, due to their persevering effort. Each speech was one that every grown-up, parents and teachers included, should have walked away having learned a tad bit more about life… from a student. It’s much more than just academics.
After each student received their diploma, they exited the stage and were greeted by a human tunnel of teachers ~ the people that worked with these students daily, to prepare them for the next phase of their journey. As a parent, watching Oldest bear-hug a favorite teacher, and other caring teachers reach out to offer her a congratulatory hug ~ well, that’s what warmed my heart and caused the tears to roll. These educators were not just congratulating a graduate; they were wishing the best of luck to someone that they had watched mature as a person, over this four-year term. That’s when it hit me…
There’s a saying that states, when your life is about to end, your whole life passes before your eyes. I find it to be equally so, when one’s life is about to begin. You see, Oldest had been preparing for flight ~ the flight to her life; the life where she would become more responsible, more mature, more accountable, more than she had already proven to be. This taxiing for take-off was causing her whole life to pass before my eyes.
As parents, we worry. We worry – will they pass that class; be accepted to the college of their choice; make the right decisions; choose the right friends, and on and on. With that worry, one must invite faith along for the ride. Faith has a way of annihilating the worry that we sometimes choose to carry around. Faith is one of my favorite words, not because it is easy to grasp, but because it challenges me to reflect upon my life. According to Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Definitely a challenge, to say the least.
It is the end of the school year, and the last hurdle is approaching; it can be seen from the distance. Students, you are almost there; believe in yourself, your dreams, and do your part to make them come together. Parents, you are almost there, as well. Have faith in your child, and look back over the years and realize just how far they have come. You have given them the tools they need to succeed in life; trust in this.
Overall, have a little faith… and congratulate yourselves for your concerted effort, in shaping some truly fabulous young adults. Enjoy the beginning of their new journey!