This weekend has been all about our children and the milestones in their lives. There were graduation parties both Saturday and Sunday. There was a three-year-old birthday party next door. There were recitals for neighborhood children who are learning to play the piano, the flute, and the violin. My daughter finished her 2nd season of Clarinet Choir with a wonderful recital of first class clarinetists playing Mozart, Debussy, Telemann, and Joplin. As I sat and listened to all this beautiful music, I thought of the world we offer our children and the world they accept and shape into their own.
The most important moment of the weekend happened yesterday when I walked through a set of doors of the Carver Hawkeye Arena and my son was standing there in his cap and gown. Of all the doors and all the thousands of people who were streaming into that building to watch their graduate walk across the stage to receive that symbolic diploma, I walked through the one door where my son happened to be standing. I could not believe my eyes. There he was, looking so grown up, so ready to take on the world. He spotted me first, and then his father, his sister, and his Yia Yia and Bop. As his eyes traveled from one face to the next, his grin got wider and wider. He ran into my arms and we hugged for a very, very long time. It was a joyous day to celebrate with my oldest child...all of 21!
After the ceremonies, we headed to his house, then walked down the street to a little bohemian restaurant. We indulged in the most eclectic and delicious meal. And it seemed that everyone who walked in the door knew my son. That didn't surprise me. He is so outgoing; he can talk with anyone about anything at any time. He always finds a way for people to fit into his life.
After lunch, we headed back to his house where the cars were parked. Out on the step, we said our goodbyes with lots of love and kisses and then he went inside. When we turned toward the street to find our cars and begin our journey home, we heard the loudest whoop coming from the other side of his front door. My son had just graduated from college!