Thursday, June 08, 2006

Congrats to the Class of Ought-Six

Tomorrow my two little baby girls graduate from high school, both summa cum laude ("it ain't braggin' if you can back it up"). I'm posting this photo of them at the age of two weeks solely for their embarrassment and my amusement:


I remember when they were that old and we did the math, and the idea of them graduating in the Class of 2006 sounded as distant and futuristic as lunar colonies. Of course my girls eventually grew hair, and looked something like this when I snuck them into Page 82 of Mom's Cancer:


When I was 18, I wondered why everyone made such a fuss about graduation. It really seemed like the slightest of accomplishments to me--just put in your time and they give you a diploma (though I understand and respect that it's not that easy for everyone)--and I perceive the same annoyed vibe from my girls. "What's the big deal and why does everyone keep asking me how I feel about it?" I get that.

At the same time, looking back from across the generation chasm.... Man! That paper is inked in hard work, pride, disappointment, friends, adulthood, independence, the beginning of an exciting but frightening future. Also undeniably my own middle age, my wife and I looking at each other across the table and asking, "All right, that went better than expected, now what?" A parent might understand, although a kid would not, why I get a little weepy when I find a ream of three-ring-binder filler paper that'll never be used. Graduation encompasses a lot.

I was wrong when I was 18. It's a big deal. For now, my girls will just have to accept my word for it. And my congratulations.

2 comments:

Louie said...

Nice post. My kids are still a long way off -- the class of 2015 and 2018, and do those sound like science fiction years or what? But I can already understand how a parent can fully appreciate graduation. It's a big milestone in that long, scary, stressful and exhausting journey called parenting. Take the opportunity to simultaneously breathe a sigh of relief and give yourself a pat on the back. (Is that like patting your head and rubbing your tummy?)

Also, wasn't sure if you saw this very nice "Mom's Cancer" review from MSNBC.com.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13191778/

BrianFies said...

In 2015 your kids may be getting to class via transporters....

We're still waiting to have time to enjoy that sigh of relief. After all, it's summer vacation now.

I didn't know about the MSNBC review, thanks very much. That'll be my next entry.