Graduation Aspiration

Last weekend my son graduated from High School. Before the commencement ceremony, every student was encouraged to write a little something about themselves for instance where they were going to school, where they were working or what their aspirations were. As they received their diplomas the announcer read their words and some students named the universities they were attending or the grocery stores where they were working. Others voiced the more lofty aspiration of traveling the world.

I was curious what my son would choose to say. Having decided to take a year off to ponder what’s next, his life is more about transition right now than anything else.

I secretly hoped he wouldn’t mention that he was working at a fast food restaurant. I didn’t want ‘Pita Pit’ to be indelibly marked in my memory of my son’s graduation. And although Gabe has recently considered a career in Art Therapy it seemed premature to declare that publicly.

When my son’s name was announced I went up front to take a photo and I ended up missing what he had to say altogether. I was so excited that I accidentally pushed the ‘off’ button on my camera. Fortunately he patiently stood there posing while my camera powered up again and I got the photo!

When I returned to my seat I was anxious to ask my partner, Scott what Gabe had said.

It turns out that Gabe didn’t mention fast food or a possible career choice, instead he said that his aspiration was “to love life”.

To love life! There is no answer that could warm my heart more than that one. To me that’s what it’s all about. If we have an internal compass set on learning to love our life and make a life for ourselves that we love nothing else matters.

Loving life unfolds in the choices we make every moment.

In that moment I chose to believe that it was my parenting that grew him up to be the young man that was able to announce such an aspiration. In that moment I accepted each and every one of my perceived flaws as fodder for a son who’s able to set his aspirations high.

And in that moment I knew that he was going to be successful!

This is the card (illustration and words by Shel Silverstein) that I gave him at our family meal the next day in celebration of his graduation.

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  1. Posted November 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Jovanna, First big congrats to Gabe! I love what he said and the courage it took to say it! I hear your voice in his words, and I am so pleased to hear you take some credit for the wonderful young man his is. I, too, have a senior this year and we can get so caught up in “where’s he going to school” or “what does he want to do” that we forget about living each moment and that the best part of life is the daily journey, not the destination of “there.” Love the poem, too. Big hugs to you!

    • Jovanna
      Posted November 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      It’s wonderful to find a healthy and more relaxed perspective from one another, isn’t it! Thanks for the hug!

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