Tag Archives: graduation



A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.  Ecclesiastes 3:4


I remember the first time you were whisked away from me.

You were approximately thirty minutes old; ten wrinkled, tiny toes and a head full of fine baby hair.

I'd got to hold you in my arms for a few minutes, but before I knew it, your dad had scooped you up and exited the room along with the nurses.

I knew where they'd taken you. A crowd of merrymakers were waiting in the hall to see you in all your newness.

Your debut consisted of an onslaught of aggressive camera flashes and fawning family members.

Your dad held you up like a young king who would someday rule the world. I can imagine it was something like Rafiki did when he presented Simba to the pride. I'm only guessing.

I wouldn't know.

You see, I was still stuck in the delivery room, by myself. After minutes that seemed like hours of being left alone; you taken from me, I had decided to join the party. But there was a problem.

I put my weight on my hands and scooted to the edge of the bed. Something didn't feel right. My legs weren't working. Still I tried until the nurses came in reminding me that I was immobile due to the epidural I had gotten to help me through the thirty-second hour of labor (had to throw that in).

I was the one who carried you for eight months and three weeks. I was the one who labored to get you here. And now it seemed I was the ONLY one who wasn't bursting with excitement in the hallway. 

For a moment I felt left behind and quite unable to position myself in that happy place with those people in the hall.

I had the same feeling rush over me earlier this week in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. I'd just experienced an unsuccessful attempt at buying party supplies for your graduation party and decorations for your senior table. I sat in the car bummed at the lack of shopping bags and bummed still, that you're graduating in the first place.

I thought about who I could text:

1. that would be by their phone to provide instant comfort because they understand where I'm coming from

2. and that I haven't already exhausted with "I'm so sad he's graduating" texts.

It pretty much excluded everybody, because here's the thing-

Everybody else is already in the "celebration hall". You're there with them. You're all more than fine with this thing. Your dad is doing his "Rafiki bit" thinking about what bright things lie ahead and I'm still trying (unsuccessfully) to join in.

THAT'S the thought I had earlier this week, but...

I'm making a choice to work myself out of my grief-stricken immmobility, because under the layers of "the last this, the last that" and the slew of tear-inducing pictures of Hay Hay (as we used to call you)......I'm happy.

I'm happy that we made it through Algebra II and the parent portion of driver's ed. I'm proud that I see a guy who's developed a great work ethic and a bright outlook for his future. Standing before me is a boy who solemnly swore "that it would never be uncool to hug his mom". You've kept that promise.

I'm going to turn my sadness into gratitude and get happy with the rest of those who are excited at the new chapter ahead. I'm getting ready for the parties.

I'm choosing gratitude.........even though I've already made this decision about twenty times this year.

I'll choose gladness when I find a tear in my eye when I hear you playing "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, and when I think about the milk jug that will probably be lonely in our fridge next August without all its fellow milk jugs that are usually beside it to fill your insatiable thirst. I'll make my sentimentality a reminder to do so. Because this graduation thing is a good thing, even if it makes me sappy.

So congratulations! Let's do this thing.

I'll meet you in the hallway to celebrate. 

Don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened.

-Dr. Suess

This week, and last week for some of you, is a week filled with emotion. - A feeling of anticipation and pride mixed with some sorrow.  I know Rylie is only graduating from Kindergarten, but I feel Jason and I are starting to experience the First- of THE LASTS.  We have passed the chapter of rocking little ones to sleep.  Rylie has lost all of her front teeth. I took pictures of the last toothless smile as those "big girl" teeth are growing in.  Hallie has said goodbye to elementary; Hayden to junior high -just last year.  I gave Rylie her last Kindergaten kiss this morning. 

It's really ok to feel sad. It just means that something deep of heart has happened in the first place. Experience has been had, worthy of our wanting to hold on.

And for that we can be happy! 

Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words. - 2 Corinthians 9:15   NLT


 Graduating Seniors -Friends from FBC Nederland, Trinity Friends, other friends and my second grade students from Chilton

Graduating Kindergarteners (including our Rylie)

and College Graduates: Jacob Allen and Noah Brown

Prayers for you and your families as you seek God's will in this new chapter of life.



Let someone cut in line.

Slow down.

Call an old friend.

Pray for your parents.

Slow down.

Smile at someone.

Compliment your husband.

Hold the door open for someone.

Slow down.

Make dessert.

Hug your children extra tight.

Walk outside and listen for God.

Ignore your impulse to feel rage toward that bad driver.

Slow down.

Listen to what your daughter is saying.

Let your son make a mess in the kitchen.

Allow tears.

Read a good book.

Leave a note on your husband's pillow.

Slow down.

Think about the lyrics to your favorite song.

Let that kid sit in your lap.

Pick a flower.

Visit a local landmark.

Laugh at your teenager's joke.

Have a picnic.

Hold someone's hand.

Slow Down.

Sing, even if it's off key

Because before you know it, the song is over.

I remind myself daily to slow down; to allow time for love to take place.  Sometimes I don't listen.  God has given me children who walk in the rhythm of a slow dance. May I learn from them.

Picture above:  Hallie set up her own gig one summer day on our front porch.  The sign says "25 cents to sing"!

Below is a cute song from the movie Ramona and Beezus which I highly recommend.  If your phone won't give you access, the song is "everybody" by Ingrid Michaelson.  Type in the song and artist in the search box on youtube.com





Hooray! Summer's coming!

I do love summer, but I have to tell you the months of April and May can be depressing. I feel particularly somber when loved ones are approaching the end of a chapter.  With many nieces and nephews, somebody is always finshing elementary or finishing high school.  I've taught elemtary for a few years and it saddens me that yesterday's toothless babies are graduating and some are even having babies of their own.  Last May Hallie finished elementary and Hayden finshed junior high.  This May our last baby will graduate from Kindergarten (I don't know if I can handle another one of those videos with the background music intended to make you bawl).  I absolutely know that in these times I should celebrate.  I should focus on exciting beginnings just around the corner. I am renewing a commitment to show joyful satisfaction even as the sand slips through the hourglass. I wanted to share a tradition in our family that helps us to celebrate endings, beginnings and things in-between.

When each of the kids were young I got them their own special book.  We read the book on special occasions and sometimes just because.  I've come to realize it's easy to make ordinary times into extraordinary with a little creativity.  And honestly, I'd be remiss not to celebrate my children every day!

Every time their special book is read, we write in the book cover.  The date and the occasion is written down.  Some of my favorites include:

-January 14, 2009 Nap story

-September 26, 2010 Just because I love you

-September 4, 2007 Second week of fifth grade  You lost a tooth and reminded me to read.

-April 11, 2006 You read to your Dad for his thirtieth birthday

-March 27, 2011 A can of hairspray emptied in your backpack the one time your borrowed the school's video camera.

-August 2011 Tomorrow is the first day of Middle School at C.O. Wilson- Go Bullpups!!!


The book pictured at the top is Hooray for You!  A Celebration of You-ness by Marianne Richmond.  I STILL read it to Hayden (nobody mention this to his friends!).

The girls' book is I Love You So also written by Marianne Richmond.


There are so many awesome books out there.  I may post a couple of personal favorites.  I've recently been considering buying an inexpensive Bible for each of the kids.  I think it would be extra-meaningful to not only write dates as we read scripture, but also a side-note like:

3/25/12 Lucky the Goldfish died

4/16/12 Failed a Math test

4/01/12 Had a fight with your best friend

2/17/12 You helped clean the kitchen

Remember to celebrate successes.  Don't forget the little ones.  And maybe most importantly, celebrate God's grace in those not -so-great moments.

Children are a gift from God.

And with a good gift comes celebration!

A picture of Hayden and Hallie on Kindergarten graduation day.

 (picture of Rylie soon to come)