Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The processional march had just started to play Saturday when I found myself clutching for Husband's hand. We are no newbies to commencement ceremonies, having seen all four Boys graduate from high school and Boy#1 receive his bachelor's degree. A college graduation  marks more than completion of a bachelor's degree, though.

With high school commencements, there is a sense of shared accomplishment. Parents can, and should, acknowledge the hard work (and luck) it takes to guide a child from helpless infancy to legal age. But college? That's an accomplishment the child-no-longer can claim all on his own, the passport stamped to adulthood.

Despite our love for Small College, Husband and I discouraged the Boys from enrolling at this school right across the street from our house. We believe the college years are the incubators for fragile new grown-ups--out of the home, but still in a place where some support systems are in place. Kind of like a maturity halfway house.

At college, they will (or will not) get themselves up to go to class. They will not (or will) play video games all night when they should be studying. They will choose to (or choose not to) attend worship and join accountability groups. They will (or will not) eat what's good for them as well as what's good. They will (or will not) hang out with people who like them and laugh with them, but also challenge and stand by them.

The list goes on and on but it distills down to a single qualifier: They will (or will not) make good choices.

So when they called Boy#2's name, and announced he'd graduated magna cum laude at a prestigious university, I had to swallow around the lump in my throat. Then I cheered as his face appeared on the big screen, and as he accepted his diploma from the president. What he has accomplished during the past five years is the result of his own abilities and choices, and he has worked hard and chosen well.

We could not be prouder.

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