I love everything about graduations—the ceremony, the music, the emotion, the inspiration.
I don’t remember much about my own; but since I’ve been a mother it’s a different story. I remember every detail of my kids’ graduations, especially the first.
It was just pre-school, Alli’s first educational experience; and it had been wonderful. As graduation ended and all the other families dispersed, ours remained, swamped in a flood of tears that required Dad’s assistance with a firm removal from the premises.
Alli was fine. I was the one sobbing–even though I knew I’d be back with Daniel a year later.
I haven’t sobbed like that again (okay, maybe just a little) but the magic never goes away. Even when it wasn’t my own children I used to show up when I knew kids who were graduating—just because.
Last year I hit the jackpot—both of my kids graduating from college in the same week.
But with a long wait for grad school graduations; and my friends’ children gone off to college, I assumed there would be a long graduation-gap; and meanwhile I’d have to be content with
stalking graduations on Facebook.
So I was thrilled to be invited to a graduation this spring—to give the commencement speech at Stevenson Middle School this morning. It’s a small private school; a close knit community. The 8th grade graduates, engaging and adorable, were introduced individually with descriptions of their accomplishments, interests and goals.
What was new this time was my perspective. At other graduations I was focused on the graduates and their parents.
From my seat on stage, this time I was not in the audience; I was facing it. And what caught my attention were the teachers—all sitting in the rows directly behind the graduates.
I’d never thought much about graduations from the perspective of the teachers; who are caring and close to the kids they teach—and watch with pride and a little sadness seeing them move on. Those emotions were written on the teachers’ faces today; it was beautiful and moving to see.
So for all the teachers I’ve overlooked at past graduations, and all teachers everywhere—-boundless gratitude for all you do; and wishing you a wonderful and relaxing summer.