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Holding It All Together-The Thing About Graduation

By Amy McCollom
My twins, Rosa and Rudy, graduated from Villa Grove High School this past Sunday. Graduation ceremonies back in our day used to be held on Friday nights. For some reason, for the last several years, Villa Grove School has been having the graduation ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

The thing about graduation, especially on Sunday afternoon right after church, is everybody is rushed. When people are rushed, they get agitated. When teenagers get agitated, parents get agitated. With so much rushing and agitation, soon cats are running through living rooms, dogs are scampering under beds, and teen girls are throwing things around their room looking for their black heels while screaming and dripping makeup from their crying eyes. At least that’s what happened at my house. Screaming, crying, gnashing of teeth! It was terrible!

I blame the gremlins that cause things to disappear, but somehow Rosa’s shoes went missing, and with just 15 minutes to spare, she begrudgingly put on a pair of “just hideous” black combat boots to wear with her green satin dress under her graduation robe. Frustrated and running late, it was an even more painful ride out to the school behind a very slow driver.

Luckily, getting to graduation late doesn’t always mean a bad parking spot. We lucked out and found a spot in the front drive, so John dropped us off at the front doors and only had to park a little ways down. We had just gotten in the doors of the school when Rudy informed me that the tassel from his cap was missing. Are you kidding me?! I back-tracked our steps and ran to look in the van before John locked the doors to see if we could find the missing tassel. Nada. Fortunately, someone at the school had the foresight to order more tassels and a duplicate was given to him as he was lining up for the procession. See, Jesus still answers quick prayers.

There was a train on the tracks, and several students were trapped on the other side of town, so the graduation ceremony started about 15 minutes later than scheduled. If I knew I had a few extra minutes, maybe some of my hairs wouldn’t have turned gray on the spot. Oh well. 

We ended up sitting on the next to last row, and directly in front of a toddler who liked to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep the whole time, except for when the choir sang, and then he said loudly, “They’re terrible!” 

Everyone in the rows in front of us I swear were all over six feet tall, as they formed a large wall of heads and shoulders that I couldn’t see beyond. I believe that short people should have the first five rows of seats automatically, as being short is technically a handicap. We should also get booster seats, custom sized furniture, step ladders in grocery stores, and closer parking spaces due to our short legs having to take more steps to get into the building.

I think all valedictorian speeches should be limited to 500 words and narrated by Morgan Freeman. I also think some good songs for choirs to sing at graduation are Closing Time, It Ain’t Easy Being Green, and Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Especially today, in a world that has the capability to dream big, perhaps a fresh breath of inspiration, ingenuity, and a handful of glitter really can change us for the better. 

The thing about graduation, those young people wrapped in those blue robes are our future. We can still help keep the wind underneath their wings as they launch out and fly. Encourage, guide, help, lead, and pray for them all. We may know how to write in cursive and drive a stick shift, but who’s going to help us with our cell phones or set up our smart TV’s? May God bless the new graduates with success and a humble heart.

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