Last night we attended my step son's high school graduation. It was our third since my step son is the youngest of three. I decided to take it all in from a "sideline" perspective. (This may have been due to the fact I kept tearing up everytime my step son marched on by and was trying to avoid an all out bawling session.) What I noticed about the evening was how much JOY there was in the stadium. There is nothing like the giddy happiness of a teenager about to leave high school with all of his/her dreams waiting ahead. And from a parent's perspective, there is nothing more touching than remembering this same moment we ourselves experienced (wasn't it just like yesterday?) while also hoping for the best for said teenager. You of course, want your children (and step children) to reach for the sky.
The other part of the evening I really enjoyed were the speeches and remarks from all of the selected students, and the principal. Most of the remarks were the usual...."we'll never be together like this again".....and "go for your dreams" ..... and "we were proud to be students here." What I liked about some of the remarks, particularly from the valedictorian, was about going out there and making a point of giving back. I think this was a great message because too many times in our society we teach to go go go and take take take for yourself. Sometimes when we give back, we also get something for ourselves. Success is not just about getting the highest paying job, or achieving the highest rank in the office. Sometimes it's about happiness.
And sometimes, we all need a little graduation.