Graduation Part 2
Graduations are for children? Perhaps the pageantry of graduation is meant for children? I have three magnificent grandchildren, ages 2, 3 and 5. Each will attend the graduation ceremony and each is precious to their parents but also my wife and I.
Graduations are associated with accomplishment. They mark the occasion with pageantry designed to impress as well as launch the graduate from the institution. They are staged as if to say your time here is over, now move on. But they also demonstrate to the world that the institution has launched an individual and that person has accomplished something. It can be a marvelous demonstration of learning for a young mind. If done correctly it can offer a brush with what is possible with hard work and dedication.
I got to experience the power of graduation and children back in 1989 when I received my master’s degree, and my two sons (who are certainly, even today, gifts to me) crossed the stage with me. In the picture below they were 7 and 10 and it was incredible event for me, and a memorable one for my sons. Afterward they were a little confused about why I asked them to cross the stage with me. I explained, that we all (especially them) had a stake in the degree I received.
The dean said in his remarks that he had two additional (future) graduates in the 1989 class. As you can see from this picture they were caught up in the events of the day. Oh and, one of them (the younger one) did become a graduate of Indiana University in 2004. It was one of the highlights of my life. The older son chose a different route; he graduated from a university in Michigan. Since Indiana University does not offer engineering degrees we made a family exception for the university. (LOL)
At any rate, it reinforced that graduations can be for children. The one I am going too this weekend will be viewed by three young children. They are ages 2, 3 and 5 years old. With those ages the term viewed might be a little strong. After all small children cannot be expected to just sit and watch. It is the environment and the picture, that I hope will rub off.
I hope that seeing poppa graduate will someday echo with them. I hope that if they go to college, they will do so with the thought of their great grandmother whom they will never have met will be on their mind. I hope that they will see how much this family values education even for people who did it primarily for the sake of getting the degree. I hope that when they face choices in college that might include dropping out, they will have a sense of toughing it out just like their grandfather did.
Yes graduations may be parents but they are also for children. Even children who love barbies, trucks, matchbox cars, hitting a ball off of a tee and reading simple books and working puzzles. After all graduations are for the future and children are the family’s future.