Happily, we have finally made it to spring. I, like many, was about to throw in the towel and just face the fact that winter was going to be here forever. Anyway, we have reached May. May brings thoughts of the end of the school year, and with the end of that, many families will be planning for and celebrating graduation. Be it from junior high, high school or college, graduation is certainly a special time for all involved. No matter what stage the graduation signifies, it is a big change in the life of your child.
I especially remember my daughter’s high school graduation. She was a member of the second graduating class of the then newly-consolidated, Bureau Valley High School. She and her classmates attended school in Buda, but the only facility large enough within the district to hold graduation was Bollman Field House in New Bedford.
Bollman was quite a place. If you never had the pleasure to attend a basketball game there or a graduation or any other activity, you missed out on visiting a former Bureau County landmark. The field house had lots of space, but parking was always challenging. The spring of my daughter’s graduation was cold (kind of like this year), but different from this year, it was also rainy. Everyone was concerned about the parking lot turning into a very large mud pit.
Fortunately, graduation day dawned bright and sunny and the rain held off the week prior, so all of the worries of walking in the muddy parking lot were for nothing. Thank goodness!
I remember how proud of my daughter I was that day. I remember shedding some tears at that graduation, knowing that in a couple of months she would be leaving to start the next chapter in her life as a college student. I knew at the time that I would not only miss her but I would miss her friends that were frequent visitors at our house, and I would miss the camaraderie among the parents as we attended the many activities our sons and daughters were a part of.
Pride, that’s what graduation is about for parents. College graduation is most certainly also about that pride. It is different at college graduation. Your child has grown into their own person, and you are not quite as vital to their existence as you were at those previous graduations. The future at college graduation is about possibly starting a career or in some instances furthering their academic life.
This year I will once again be attending a graduation for my daughter. She will be receiving her master’s degree. The journey to this master’s degree has been an interesting one, and that journey makes me especially proud of her accomplishment.
Her journey has included full-time jobs, giving birth to my grandchildren, moving (a couple of times), doing an internship, being a wife and mother, and travelling an hour each way to attend class. Through all of that she has kept her sanity and remained the kind, considerate person that I always hoped she would be. She has had the support of her husband who has done a great job as Dad on all those nights and Saturday mornings of class.
Her support system has also included my husband who took on the job of chauffeur some of the time, driving her to class during the winter months and also during her pregnancies. None of her family wanted her out on the highway alone late at night. I have to admit I probably provided the least support of anyone. I did some childcare and provided an ear for her to talk to when the going got rough.
Am I proud? As you can already tell — yes I am. I am proud, as all parents of graduates are this time of year. I am happy the girl I raised has reached another milestone in her life, and she has kept that kind, considerate heart that I mentioned before.
As parents of a graduate you can sometimes get caught up in the preparations for the day. You know the preparations I mean — the ones where you paint rooms in your house, replace decor and plan food for the party — take time out to be proud and to let that special graduate know just how great they are.
I’ll be at a graduation ceremony on May 11 with a smile and a couple of tears to see my daughter reach another milestone in her life. Congratulations to her and to all of the other graduates of 2014. It is your special year — all of your families are, like me, proud!
Nita Wyatt of Wyanet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.