My baby graduated college! It's a bit surreal to think that all three of my children are now graduated and married! Even though I'm not sure I thought it would all happen, for so many years we have prayed for our children to make good decisions, do well in school, and choose a Christian mate. I know there will most definitely come challenges, but at the moment I'm enjoying this blessing from God.
I'd like to share his story to give hope to those whose kids might have some difficulties. Our youngest had challenges growing up, as he ended up having 7 surgeries, 5 on his arm (he has a shorter, smaller arm due to an amniotic band in the womb). He wasn't really into reading or academics, but we learned in middle school that he had the gumption to work for people in our neighborhood. We helped him start his "Odd Jobs" business, which led to the purchase of a Snow-cone stand during his senior year. He is comfortable talking to most anyone and trying anything! We've always felt like he would be successful despite not loving school. We are very proud of him.
College wasn't easy and he didn't really want to be there the first two years, although he did enjoy the social aspects of it. We continually prayed and thought about alternatives if he decided to quit, but he hung in there and by his junior year he could see the benefits of having a degree. He got into a singing group that recruits in the summer for the university and enjoyed that. That's where he met his wife. So that was another delightful benefit.
Parenting him has been a joy (most of the time), and definitely showed us that God is in charge! Graduation day was wonderful. He received his Bachelor's degree in Business Marketing and I got to participate in the program. They asked me to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and that meant I would be on the stage for the entire graduation (being under those lights the whole time was what was tough!). They told me when I arrived that I could also walk in front of him as he crossed the stage and hand him his diploma as well. It was pretty sweet!
Afterwards we took pictures in an area where there is a wall honoring OC's Master Teachers. My Dad, who passed away in 2001, spent his whole career, 35 years, teaching there, and his picture is on the wall. We took pictures with our family and Dad. I know how proud he would have been to know that two of his grandchildren graduated from there. We celebrated at a nearby restaurant, Firebirds, and since I had just read the book, The Power of Moments, I asked everyone to say something they appreciated about him, or just any advice they wanted to give to him. It was great listening to everyone give words of encouragement to him. He received a few gift cards, tools from us, and we also presented him with the savings bonds his grandparents had given him the first seven birthdays of his life. They totaled almost $800 and had doubled in value. Definitely a sweet day for him!
One of my most memorable days as a parent as well. :)
One of several tools from Mom and Dad!
A beautiful tree of lights outside the restaurant!
So thankful and now I feel another transition coming on...