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Graduation Day

Updated on August 21, 2015
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

Parents do everything they do to get to this day. Children begin to understand exactly what this thing called "life" is all about.

I no longer have children graduating from high school. A fact which alternately makes me happy, but also kinda sad.

There are reminders all over Facebook of what the month of June means, aside from Father's Day and SUMMER!

Mortarboards and tassels are everywhere!

I so remember, seriously like it was yesterday, when all 4 of mine "walked". Our eldest, Shannon, graduated a year after her brother, Scott, who is actually 3 years younger than Shannon. So Scott was the first for us. Way back in 1994. And then came Shannon in 1995....followed by Patrick in 1999 and finally our baby, Katie, in 2001.

And it still seems like yesterday that we watched as hundreds of black and gold Centerville HS robes marched into the Wright State Nutter Center to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance. And it still seems like yesterday that I reached for Mike's hand and squeezed it knowing that if we looked at each other, it would mean immediate tears.

This is the day parents and kids worked and waited for, for a long time. Its exciting and melancholy all in one big gulp of emotion.

I so well remember back to my own graduation in 1969. Such an array of emotions! I was happy, of course, to have made it and with honors, for those 4 years were a huge emotional struggle for me and for sure there were times I didn't know if I could hang on. I had lost my Dad 5 years earlier and nothing could have prepared me for the gut wrenching missing I felt as I walked thru that auditorium. I knew that my Aunt Sarah was there for me...because that was how she was....always there for me. And while my mother and I weren't close..I now know what must have been coursing thru her heart that night as I made my way across that stage. I think of her now as I remember how I, as a Mom, felt when my children graduated.

Every parent who stands up and cheers as their kid makes his/her way to the podium to receive that prized diploma, knows the feeling of pride, accomplishment and bittersweet awareness that your baby has now crossed over into that long road ahead known as adulthood complete with all the happiness, excitement and mysteries that it carries with it.

We only know that what is now standing before us, can't be the little darling who screamed bloody murder when it was time to take a bath, or refused to eat EVERYTHING or who fit perfectly curled up against you.

Who is this stranger...this assured, self-confident person ready to tackle the world?

You blinked, Mom and Dad, and warp speed carried you, and them, with it.

But oh what a great feeling to know that your combined efforts, got all of you to this point. Because it doesn't matter how hard it was, how many arguments there might have been, or how many tears were shed. Because all that matters, right now, as you stand and memories flash before you, is that this person, this child of yours, has gotten there and tears begin to sting your eyes.

Congratulations to all of the 2015 High School Graduates and their parents!

I can't wait to see my grandsons walk.

Pomp and Circumstance


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