Family: Graduations mark the beginning of the end

When the month of June gets all dressed up in its spring attire it truly is breathtakingly beautiful.

It’s kind of like eye candy.

The spill of wild roses that dot the roadside ditches and get all tangled up in barb wire fences is amazing.

The many shades of green that flaunt and tease the sense of sight, going way outside the lines in the coloring book of days is truly a miracle.

I love the way the flowers stretch towards the sun, bravely opening their petals in response to its warmth and I love the way my vegetable garden is popping up quite nicely in neat little rows of almost perfection.

June is also a month of graduations.

And these young graduates are kind of like eye candy as well as they turn dull and plain community centres and gymnasiums into a swirl of color, vitality and promise.

It’s hard to believe these blue jeaned, scruffy teens clean up so well.

In my lifetime I have attended many graduation ceremonies. I have attended as a reporter, struggling to capture in my camera lens the special moments while scribbling the highlights of the speeches, hoping to somehow encapsulate the words of wisdom onto the printed page.

As a mom I have sat and watched and furtively wiped away a tear or two as my own children reached this pinnacle of success.

And, now as a grandma I get to do it all again. There is the rush of excitement, the incredible pride and the hope for the future that springs eternal.

On Wednesday my oldest grandson graduated from Grade 9.

Out of habit mostly, I slipped on my reporter’s hat and perched on the very edge of the last seat in the row to get the very best pictures possible.

And, in so doing, I became the press, but, much more importantly, I stayed the grandma.

And so I sat there, all prim and proper, camera in hand, listening to the inevitable speeches that were jam packed with words of wisdom which I’m sure did not register with even one of those kids who had one thought in mind.

“Where’s the party?”

As for me, in my mind, I quietly slipped out of the present and took a walk down my own private memory lane, hand in hand with a little guy who has somehow turned into that tall, handsome dude about to enter high school.

I used to babysit him every Wednesday and those Wednesdays were and will forever be a learning curve for me.

“Grandma, can I have this lego set?” he asked.

“No, Jackson,” I said, seriously! It is for five to seven year olds and you are only four.

“My parents say it doesn’t matter what age it says as long as it’s cheap,” he replied.

One day we stopped in at a store filled with all kinds of girly things and the child became bored in less than two minutes.

“Come on grandma,” he said. “It’s getting dark.”

We had fun, the two of us. I loved him simply because he was my grandson, but I liked him because he was inquisitive, curious and wise beyond his years.

He told his mom he liked me because I was so immature.

It was the best compliment he could have given me.

I smile as I remember.

Finally, I snap back to the present and join the well wishers milling around the grads.

As the month of June marks the beginning of a new season pulsating with life itself, graduations mark the beginning of the future.

But for grandmas such as myself, it’s also marks a time to remember and to wrap yourself up in those memories like you would a warm and cozy blanket.

And then it’s time to give the kid more money than you probably should, hug him or her fiercely and pray God will watch over them, now and always.

And move on!

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