It's that time of year again.... Graduation! It may seem repetitive year after year, but don't get lulled into thinking that it's just another day. It's a big day for those graduating.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having dinner with a friend of mine from college. In hindsight, I had not picked the best night to get together with a friend. It was late, after a long day at work, and I had booked an extremely early flight the next morning, to Philly, to watch my kids row in one of their last collegiate events. I was also somewhat nervous about being in a dangerous city alone, but this was my last chance to see my kids row on the Schuylkill river. Anyhow, I was glad that I put forth the effort to meet up with a friend, because we always connect, just like we did in college.
We began talking about the events in our kids' lives that have really stood out over the years. Both she and I had kids that attended OSU, and we had been through the commencement ceremony which took place at the stadium. This had been the second graduation that I attended in the past two weeks, and definitely the biggest.
As we both sat and chatted about the details of both events, we came to the conclusion that there is just something about seeing your own son/daughter graduate from college that is both rewarding, and at the same time, brings tears to your eyes. When the graduates walk in, and the music begins to play, most of the parents get that lump in their throat, because it's time to realize that another milestone has been met. It is the realization that your son/daughter has persevered through the struggle, and accomplished the goal. Because graduation has become a yearly event, we tend to just get numbed to the fact that it occurs. But it's a really big deal, and the spotlight should be on the graduate. Their accomplishments should be celebrated by all.
So as you look at those graduation party invitations as they pile up on your table, don't confuse your need to attend a party with the objective. Recognize all of the hard work and dedication. See it as a time to come together, recognize the accomplishments of those who have persevered, and celebrate with those who have crossed the finish line. Years of hard work have brought them to this moment.
Remember.... "It takes a village to raise a child.... "