I attended my nephew’s high school graduation this evening. As I sat between my sister and my nephew’s girlfriend, I couldn’t help but remember my own graduation from that same high school 29 years ago. It doesn’t seem possible. It couldn’t have been that long ago. Well, numbers never lie. It was a very long time ago.
Then there was the time when I found him sitting in the corner during a family gathering. I asked him what he was doing, and he held up his Play-Do and said, “I’m making a guy.” His creation was good, and I told him so. He didn’t believe me. Being the youngest family member, he always had to make his own entertainment.
Now he’s all grown up. Today marks the beginning of the rest of my nephew’s life. He has decisions to make and paths to find. His life is now his own. He’s an adult. No more school for him unless he decides to attend college or a trade school. He’s not sure what he wants to do yet.
I remember that pressure I felt when friends and family would ask what I was going to do after high school. I decided my senior year that I wanted to write advertising. While I’ve done that, I certainly didn’t make a career of it. Working for a community action agency wasn’t even on my radar when I was his age.
Even when you do have plans for the future, life often has a way of changing those plans for you. My nephew will figure things out. It may take a while to find his stride, but by the time he’s my age, I imagine he’ll be far more successful that I ever dreamed.
To my astonishment, some of the same teachers I had in high school are still there. Many of my nephew’s classmates are the children of my classmates. I could see it in their faces and recognized many family names. I wonder if those teachers ever had the feeling of déjà vu while teaching children that were practically mirror images of their former students.
To those teachers I say Thank you! Thank you for making your life’s work our education.
As for the new graduates, I say CONGRATULATIONS! I wish you well on your journey called life!
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