Lessons From My Oldest Son’s Graduation

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of events. There has been a senior dinner, a baccalaureate service, the end of school, family visiting, a reception and a commencement ceremony. It seems everyday has been filled with something to bring my son through this time with joy, understanding and a general sense of accomplishment.

I have been a graduating senior two times in my life, but this is my first time as a parent. It will certainly not be my last either as I have 3 more to graduate in the next 5 years. During this experience I have watched the events with an open mind to the lessons I might learn through this celebration. Here are a few of my thoughts.

1. All of us experience life in our own unique way. Some teens want to be in the spotlight, but it is clear that my son does not. He is more introverted like me. He does not enjoy the crowds and talking with total strangers. He enjoyed graduation but is very glad it is over.

2. Most people are very generous. I cease to be amazed at the generosity of people. People have willingly given us their time to help. Other people have opened their wallet to give all kinds of gifts to my son(Thanks everyone). I know we think of the world as selfish and greedy much of the time, but my experience never seems to support that view.

3. The Church is a great family. Most of our family was not able to make my sons graduation or party. The timing was bad, my parents health is poor and some of them just couldn’t afford the trip. As a result we did not expect too many people at my son’s graduation party. We were pleasantly surprised at how many people showed up to support him. Here is the great part, almost all of them were from my Church. They loved Hunter and gave to him just because of our bond in Christ. I love the Church.

4. Take time to celebrate the moment. Ecclesiastes 3:13 says, “That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil–this is the gift of God.” I think the writer of this verse has a couple of things in mind. One, we are never satisfied. We will always think of how we could have done better. Two, we always have our mind on the next thing. The biggest question for my son over the weekend was, “What are your future plans?” It is hard to enjoy accomplishments, but when you do, it is a gift from God.

5. Time flies – so make the most of it. I can’t believe my little boy is out of high school. The time sure went fast. I am thankful for every little experience along the way. Right now I am so thankful for the class programs, the field trips, the games, the awards, the time with friends and a thousand little experiences. I thank God for each day he has given me with my son.

I know the last couple of weeks is not the end. Oh, maybe the end of high school, but not the end of my time with my son. My relationship is changing. My son is now a man. I will be interested to see my thoughts in four years when he is graduating college. How is that possible?

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