Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh the Places You'll Go...

What is it about a graduation that makes me all weepy?! I've never been able to make it through one dry-eyed yet, and tonight's was no exception. It's such a perfect balance of nostalgia and excitement over the future. Memories and goodbyes. One chapter closing and one chapter opening. An ending, and a true "commencement". Gets me every time.

This graduation though, seemed even "more so" than usual. I mean, don't get me wrong...I'm always a basket case! But tonight somehow, I fully got the "weight" of the graduation ceremony! Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that tonight's graduates were from the very first sixth grade class that I ever taught. Not my very first class mind you; those "kids" were my obnoxious and wonderful Junior High-ers, and they graduated a few years ago...and I missed it because I was busy having a baby, dangit...! But these kids were actually mine for a whole year of learning, laughing and frustrations. Fights on the playground, spelling bee championships, pranks and catastrophes, overnight camping trips, work days, car washes and hot lunches...funny how those memories from six whole years ago came back as clear as a bell tonight.

Maybe it's because some of these graduates have come to mean a lot to me as I've watched them grow (and grow up!), coached them on volleyball teams and directed them in plays, gone to church with them and become friends with them...! And maybe it's because these particular kids will not be "sticking around" next year, but will be traveling to another city, another state, or across the world! Or maybe it's because the beautiful and accomplished valedictorian made me bawl, especially when I reflected that I've known her since she was in third grade! It made me feel so very nostalgic. So very sad about the good-byes. So very excited about their futures!

But mostly, I was able to remember again, exactly why I loved (and love!) being a teacher! Why someday I will teach again, and will be grateful for the opportunity. I am so thankful and happy that I am able to stay home with my boys, and I actually wouldn't trade it for anything. I love being important in their lives, and I love what I do every day. But tonight was a good reminder that it's good to be important in these kids' lives too. Love you guys! Congratulations...I'm so proud of you all!!

The World Famous Vaughn Brothers! (Iain and Liam in 18 years?! Hope so!)

P.S. I miss these friends too.

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