It’s Graduation Time!

Thoughts on Kindergarten and High School Graduation, by Angela Boykin

This time of year stores are filled with cards, balloons, and gifts celebrating 2017 graduation. One of the neatest gifts I have seen for graduates is the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”. My oldest son was given this book when he graduated from high school. I have read through it several times and recently found a web link that includes bible verses for each key section of this book.

Dr. Seuss has a unique and very simple way of saying exactly what is needed to explain an experience. His magical, rhyming, made-up words convey the exact thoughts and feelings we are having about key life events. In “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” he takes on the expectations of the next chapter in a student’s life. Whether graduating from kindergarten or high school, the pearls of wisdom in this book are relatable.

The thoughts and feelings you experience as a parent over these next few weeks will move back and forth between happy, sad, excited, nervous, and amazed. You will think about the places your student has been and the places they have yet to go. Graduation is a rite of passage and a literal ceremony demonstrating the move to a new phase of life.

As a mom who has experienced kindergarten graduations twice and high school graduation once, I want to encourage you to take a moment to be still and enjoy your student. Spend time with them talking about what is next, and if they are graduating from high school, they may not be in one place for very long – but make sure you do talk. These conversations about what 1st grade will be like or how they can’t wait for summer vacation or short “yes and no conversations” about graduation photos and parties are moments that you will look back on for encouragement. You may be looking for confirmation that “Yes, my child does love me” to “Yes, my student is ready” and ”Yes, I have prepared them to the best of my ability for what is next” and finally; “Yes, the place they will go will be amazing….I am ready, they are ready!” You will also look back on this time and think about how fast 5 years or 18 years has gone. Your baby was tiny at one point but now ready to take on his or her new world. I also want to encourage you by telling you all of the emotions you feel in this moment are ok and are real and normal. Don’t worry about shedding those tears, laughing out loud and for sure do not worry about giving those “babies” giant hugs even if they may be embarrassed for the rest of their lives! Hug away! They really want you to hug them and love them even if they don’t seem to appreciate it in the moment.

Finally congratulate yourselves and thank our heavenly Father for the blessing this student has been in your life and for being able to be their parent. You have done a great job. Your student is ready for the next phase in their lives. Just think of the places you have gone, what you have done to prepare them and what they will do next. It is an exciting time, a joyful time full of promise.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Enjoy this time and congratulations!

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