Saturday, June 8, 2013

Biggest Date

In about 12 hours I will be sitting in the midst of family and friends (ours and several thousand others) for my son's high school graduation ceremony. I have been touched by the congratulatory messages he / we have received over the past few weeks, whether they be on Facebook, phone calls, texts, or in the mountain of graduation cards. Each one has put a huge smile on my face.

Yes, I am a VERY proud mother!

Now, I will never be ungrateful to those providing the wonderful words of kindness, congratulations, or praise for the success my son has had, but to be honest, it is all about HIS determination. It was HIS decision to audition for his first theater production (High School Musical) when he was in sixth grade, to try out for the highly acclaimed and award winning NHS Academic Decathlon at the end of his sophomore year, and set the goal to be a National AP and National Merit Scholar. These are objectives he set for himself ~ and subsequently achieved! I can't take credit for this success. Yes, we provided him with some opportunities, encouragement, and support along the way, but this is HIS fault!

In all honesty we deserve no praise for the young man who will be giving the Salutatorian address this afternoon. God blessed us seventeen (and a half) years ago with this beautiful baby. He entrusted him to our care and He expected us to exceed His expectations in this baby boy's upbringing. Lord, I hope we have done the quality job (to this point) you envisioned.When we were blessed as parents in 1995, it became our responsibility to love, nurture, and protect this precious life. 

Responsibility ~ the quality or state of being responsible, moral, legal, or mental accountability.

I have been uncomfortable accepting congratulatory praise for my son's success. Again, this is HIS success. What I want to say is, "Thank you. I have (hopefully) met my responsibility as a parent, to this point." I know it sounds crass, but believe me that is not the intention. It goes back to the responsibility God placed in my (our) hands all those years ago when this frail ~ our son was born with Hyaline Membrane Disease, little life was born. 

I hear, "It's not MY fault" all the time from children and adults alike. I don't believe people take responsibility, of any kind, seriously. If you can pass with a 70, then let mediocrity reign, right? NO! Everyone needs to strive for excellence. One person's level of excellence can be vastly different from someone else's, but why not endeavor for YOUR very best, all the time! 

It seems when it comes to education so many students want to get by expending the least amount of effort possible. Is this what we want for the next generation of the work force? It is a matter of responsibility. As parents, not only are we responsible for our children, but we should also be held accountable for teaching them this very important quality.

I believe the proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child", but everyone needs to remember a parent is the child's first teacher! We must step up to the plate and teach our children, support the professionals in the classroom, and expect the very best from each and every individual. If we are accepting of the ordinary, then why try harder? I will tell you why, because it is deserved. Each child merits a parents very best. I know some days it is harder than others to strive for perfection, but don't our children deserve the attempt?

Okay, I will step down from my soap box and end with some of the things I will miss greatly in the next days, weeks, months, and years to come.

  • reciting the lines for each character, especially Sheldon, from the Big Bang Theory
  • singing in the car to some of our favorite songs from Wicked ("Because I Knew You"), Spamalot ("I'm Not Dead Yet!"), 1776 (I Have Come to the Conclusion ~ "Sit Down John"), Ragtime ("Wheels of a Dream"), etc.
  • running after the cats trying to catch them (hopefully not ever causing the cat to spill a fully melted candle of wax on itself EVER again!)
  • asking him to take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher, put his clothes down the laundry chute, etc. (over and over and over and over again)
  • driving from here to there, back here and then over there
  • whistling while working on the computer (okay, maybe not miss so much, as notice the silence)
  • talking about school - and his daily "quality educational experience"
  • the vast multitasking (listening to AcDec music, writing notes, reading study materials, and "watching" BBT ~ I'm sure there are  many other items to be added to this list, but these were the most evident when walking by)
  • being mocked (I don't have an accent!!!)
  • arguing (yes, I said it...I will miss it, but I remain the Queen!)
Congratulations, son, on all of your hard work. I have loved you from the moment I learned you were coming into this world and I could never have dreamed of the greatness you have achieved. You are my love, my life and today we honor you as you end this chapter in your life. Now, on to Part Two in this awesome book. I know the best is yet to come. 

I love you with all my heart ~ Moma

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