Well it is graduation time all across the country. Hearts are swelling with pride as proud parents and grandparents are doting on their graduates.
It is especially near and dear to us as we have had two college graduations this year. Our first graduation was Aaron’s, who graduated from Georgia Tech in nuclear engineering. Neal and I were proud as a peacock when his son walked across that stage receiving his honors degree. What a glorious day! I can’t believe he returns in the fall to complete his master’s degree. It seems that we just moved him into that tiny dorm room yesterday, but it has been four years of hard work and dedication. Neal and I commented that he had a grown up look on his face that day. The young man that left us four years ago has grown into an adult. His face looked different, he carried himself differently, and his outlook on life is different. He has matured right before our eyes.
My niece Beth received her doctorate in systematic and philosophical theology from The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She and her husband moved there several years ago and set on their journey to complete their education. Beth is the only granddaughter in our family. My brother and I had two boys and my sister had a boy and a girl…so she was the princess, and rightfully so.
I was completely thrilled to see the red robe as that is my signature color. I tried her whole life to brainwash her into choosing red for her favorite color too. I bought Beth her first pair of red shoes and a dress with embroidered cherries to go with it. And we got a curly perm to complete the look; all while my sister was in the hospital birthing Beth’s new brother many years ago. She and I are red girls (at least I think so).
And to add to the wonderment, our grandson Hays is graduating from 5-year-old Kindergarten. He is at a beautiful place in his life where his thoughts are about where we were going to eat to celebrate, secretly hoping for pizza!
In my book Bouquets of Love, there is one verse that I wrote that expresses my thoughts about all of them:
Walk with me as I grow.
Watch me as I explore life.
Love me unconditionally.
These three simple lines sum up every child’s desires. They want us to walk steps with them as they grow up and watch them as they explore all the wonderful things life has to offer. But the main thing anyone wants is to be loved unconditionally.
Loving unconditionally means celebrating a person because of who they are, not because of what they have accomplished. Loving means I love you because you are YOU, and getting to celebrate their accomplishment with them is just an additional joy. Congratulations to all of you who have someone graduating this year.