And so, while the weather exemplifies all that's good about the season, dozens, or occasionally hundreds of people, mash themselves into a stuffy, hot auditorium, where for a few hours they sit through one of the most boring ceremonies there is. Sweat pores from every pore as they fidget and fight against dozing off. Yet, upon their countenances are ear-to-ear grins. Inside, hearts swell with pride.
It's graduation. No matter the level of education obtained, from kindergarten to university, Moms and Dads are positively beaming over the achievement. It's the end result of the guidance and nurturing that goes hand in hand with parenting.
Yet, there's no doubt that the pride is not directed inward, not to the notion that this was all a result of one's own parenting skills. At least on my part. As a mom of four, I attended many graduations over the years. At each I felt such awe at my incredible offspring. They were these amazing people, not because of me, I thought, but more likely in spite of me.
As a niece of mine once said when I complimented her on the beautiful daughters she had raised, "I think they came that way."
Graduation, at least from higher education, is a time to acknowledge that while parental guidance steered the course, the hard work was ultimately done by the students. Finding the balance between social life and academic success is a lot easier when Mom and Dad are there to remind you. At university, social distractions are many. Even the best students can lose their way. And it's equally problematic if every waking moment is dedicated to studies.
Therefore, on those four occasions as I found my way under brilliant sunshine to an auditorium on campus, as I sat stiffly in uncomfortable chairs, breathing stifling air, I couldn't think of another place I'd rather be. I couldn't have been prouder of the people for whom I had come to celebrate this moment.
The days will soon be here when the crush into auditoriums will begin. Cute kindergartens move on. Grade 8s get set for their imposing educational leap, while secondary students mark a new beginning. Post-secondary graduates will join the real world, with all its benefits and challenges. Today's photo collections then celebrate graduation on every level:
iPHOTOS.com Graduation Photos
Clipart.com Graduation Photos