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Monday, May 31, 2010

A Different Kind of Graduation

Hello again. I know it has been months since my last post here. I have found posting on my own blogs, as well as maintaining my role as wife, mother, teacher and household manager has kept me up pretty late every night. Most of the time, I just couldn't seem to manage one more post.

But this weekend I had the pleasure of attending a high school graduation. It filled my heart with joyful anticipation for the journey that lies ahead and for that not-so-distant-day when I watch my own children graduate. This blog felt like the perfect place to share such a story of encouragement.

As this school year draws to a close, it is easy to think of all the things we did wrong, and what we'll change next year, on what wasn't accomplished and how we have failed. It is easy to focus on the here and now, instead of on our ultimate goal. We worry. We wonder. Even if we're certain we're doing the right thing.
I know I do.
This day was the perfect reminder to me to think about the other things. To remember the countless hours I've spent with my children doing so much more than school. To think about the relationship we've developed with one another. To remember the victories and triumphs we have shared. To think how precious and fleeting this time is. To remember I am teaching them to be men of God and her to be a woman of God. To remember what matters.
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When I was a high school teacher, I attended graduation every year. It was required. There was a celebratory feeling in the air. The students were beyond excited. They couldn't wait to "get out of here". And for grad night to start after the ceremony.
As much as the administration and teachers tried to emphasize the solemness of the graduation ceremony, it was always raucous and a bit wild. There was always a beach ball, or four, to be confiscated by a teacher. I was booed by students and parents alike when I took one once.
The emphasis seemed misplaced. It was all about having fun with friends, getting armfuls of balloons and flowers, and not at all about reflecting on the achievements of the past 12 years or the responsibility of the road ahead.

On Saturday I attended a very different kind of graduation.
It was in a church. There were no beach balls or air horns.
There were inspiring words to send the graduates on their way. A reminder of their responsibility to be open to God's use.
There were hugs and tears. Kind and loving words were spoken by grandfathers, mothers and fathers.
There was an older brother giving his younger brother the Torrey cord.
There was a respect for what had been accomplished thus far and hope for what would come next.

I was so struck by the difference.
But when the two graduates spoke (yes it was a graduating class of two) I was proud of those two boys I knew so long ago. They were a breath of fresh air.

Both boys spoke of how grateful they were to be home schooled. They spoke with thankfulness for the sacrifices their mothers had made to school them. They hugged those Moms on stage--in front of everyone! They thanked their fathers for spending time with them, for teaching them to work and to be men. They hugged those Fathers on stage--in front of everyone! They spoke with love for their siblings and for each other, best friends since boyhood. They described classes and subjects they loved. They were excited to continue their studies. They weren't stiff and fake and uncomfortable, the stereotype of every home schooler. They were clever and funny and perfectly comfortable speaking to a large audience gathered there to celebrate with them. It was joy to watch them

I came away from the ceremony with a full heart.
There is so much I want for my children as I contemplate the years of schooling that lie ahead. It is easy to get lost in the details and loose sight of my ultimate goal.
I want to raise children who have a solid foundation, who love their Lord and their family, who can think for themselves and who love to learn. I want to teach to so much more than their minds.
Seeing those boys alongside their parents, who have given much to educating all of them, I am excited by the road that lies ahead.
I hope you will be too.

Love from,
Greta (aka Mommy of Three)

2 comments:

  1. Oh, Greta, I am weepy with those words. Thank you for the reminder. Of the privilege it is to spend this time with my boys, to be teaching not just their minds, to cherish these fleeting days, to remember what matters. Beautiful words.

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  2. You don't post often, but boy, when you do Greta - you move us all so deeply. Amid the hub bub of daily life and scampering feet, it's hard to see that end. Thank you for filling us back up with fresh hopes and imaginings for such a day as you described! And what a neat church to host such a graduation for those boys, I love that :)

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