Graduation week was tiring and fulfilling …
It was quite a graduation week for me and Diane. It started nineteen years ago when we asked our children if we were ever going to have grandchildren. We had none at the time. We now have ten. The first, three boys, were born within nine weeks of each other. They pursued educational trails in different places, this year graduating from different high schools in different areas the country; one in Hingham, Massachusetts, one in California and the other in Rhode Island.
Over the years, we were sure they would graduate on the same day, that we would have to ‘divide and conquer’ to be represented at their commencements. We were lucky, learning a few months ago that they would graduate on different days, all within a week and, excited, we made our plans well in advance.
Our journey commenced last week. On Friday, Andrew had a baseball game which we attended, following which we stayed at a local hotel. On Saturday, he graduated from Hingham High School, followed by a luncheon at his home On Saturday evening, because of an early flight next morning, we stayed in Boston. On Sunday we caught a seven am flight to California, picked up our rental car and drove directly to a pre-graduation party for our grandsons at their home, and then on to another party for their friends. On Monday, Luke, not one of the original three, graduated middle school. On Tuesday, Alec graduated from high school.
We returned to Rhode Island on Wednesday. On Thursday, Zachary graduated from LaSalle Academy in Providence. Intermingled with the pomp and circumstance were lunches and dinners … and a little sleep.
On Friday, the seventh day, we rested; comfortable, satisfied and quite proud. To be present for and to observe the growth of these boys into mature, confident young men was genuine and palpable. I took lots of pictures. The distraction helped me to avoid teardrops as memories welled up.
The schools and the students were impressive. In all, there was a spirit instilled by the teachers, recognized by the students and applauded publicly. The class speakers were articulate and confident, delivering their messages to the nods of heads, wide smiles and pauses for applause. Their bonds of affection for teachers, parents and each other were palpable, with personal phrases like “shared experiences, hard to let go, look back, respect and difficult goodbyes.” Faculty messages…“think about who you are, gifted with few moments in life like this” resonated, floating over the audience on clear and beautiful days.
Over the years, Diane and I were aware of the transitions our grandchildren were making, but on this day, it hit us even harder, seeming to have happened overnight. We are confident that they are amply prepared for their next steps.
We loved being present for the ceremonies.
Yes, we were exhausted with the travel, the parties and the dinners. But every minute was worth it. We’re ready to do it all again (in two years, for our granddaughters).
** In Yesterday’s GoLocalProv