Jun 14, 2017

Gavin's Graduation


This day was always so far in the future. It was so far away it was fuzzy, blurry, dream-like - definitely not a reality that would be imminently upon us. And yet it was and is and did. It snuck up like all things do, under the guise of "time". We were so busy living, doing the mundane things you do with kids: grocery shopping, playing cards, swimming, vacationing, hiking, carpooling to practices, disciplining, cleaning, laughing, going to parent/teacher conferences. And then one day, we woke up and our boy was a senior. And we were happy.


He is so ready to go out into this world alone. I have every confidence in him. But I don't have confidence in myself to enter a future without him. Not that we won't ever be together, just not in the same way. And that's ok. It's ok to be sad, happy, worried, and excited all at the same time. Learning to live within the paradox of those emotions is what growth looks like. It's what change looks like. And that's a good thing! Not an easy thing. Most likely a very hard thing. But still a good thing.

I'm reminded of a blessing by David Steindl Rast that captures this feeling perfectly for me. It goes like this:

Source of all blessings, you bless us with change - in the seasons of the year, from snow to 

greening, flowering, fruiting, and harvest.  In the seasons of life, from childhood to youth, full ripeness, and sagging. All living things keep changing. May I welcome change as a sacred opportunity to grow and savor in each unrepeatable moment's fleetingness what is beyond change.


The actual graduation ceremony was amazing. The day couldn't have turned out more perfect. The weather was warm with a gentle breeze. All the people who loved him were present and celebrating with him. We had so much family that we took up two rows of bleachers! It was awesome. The speeches were memorable and the sunset - perfect. What more could you ask for? 


I only choked up twice - once when the students were walking into the stadium. I don't know why that got me, but it did. You can see Gavin in this picture. It looks like he's looking right at the camera. He has a white NHS collar on. (Unfortunately, we didn't get any other pictures with the collar because we refused to pay an extra $25 for that privilege. But we know. He graduated in the top 10% of his class with a 4.09. ) The other moment came when a special needs boy crossed the platform to receive his diploma and the whole graduating class of 420 kids cheered for him. I just love that! 

I thought I would be sadder. I thought I would cry. But I was too happy to be sad. I couldn't stop smiling. I was thrilled for him. The tears will come. Thankfully, just not today.
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