“Tis The Season” (Graduation)

30 May

Dear Readers,

Tis the season (graduation) is now upon us! Let the games begin!

There are graduations from nursery school, kindergarten, third grade, fourth grade, sixth grade and eighth grade. There are high school, college, master programs and PHD graduations.

There are four and five year olds that walk across the stage to receive a diploma, with a professional camera crew videoing every move. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings in attendance to watch four-year olds graduate, reminiscing about the day in March (right before spring break) Jordan actually walked in to school for the first time without crying and the teacher was actually able to stop taking Advil with her morning coffee.

Then there are elementary school graduations (fifth or sixth grade) whenever their elementary school ends and middle school begins. Graduating from the elementary school building to the middle school building. Then there is the eighth grade graduation. Again kids graduating from one building to another, for in the fall their lockers will be in a different building called The High School.” Please know these building graduations are with all the pomp and circumstance as a High School graduation and even some colleges.

High school graduations are important unlike all the “building graduations” that come before. For many it will end/limit their time at home (thank God). They will go off to college embracing a new life, environment, new friends, and new teachers and for many they will experience life for the first time without their parent’s filters! Many college freshmen will for the first time actually have to share a bedroom/bathroom with someone else. For other high school graduates the military is their next step in to the “real world” and then there will be others, high school will be their last educational degree.

Part of the season’s festivities for high schools and grades below are the award ceremonies for measurable and non-measurable achievements. There is a sports night filled with awards and lovely words said about each child (regardless of playing time) there are awards for perfect attendance (maybe the parents should get that award.) There are hours of long ceremonies to hand out awards for academics, singing, music, theater, foreign languages (which are all my favorites), for being a really nice person, for being a team player, for being enthusiastic and for “gosh darn it” I just want to give you an award, and an award for turning your life around (no one knows how or why) but we are all so proud! They give awards to teachers for teaching, for retiring teachers, there are “shout outs” a student that happened to get hold of a microphone, either in giving out an award (to another class mate) or accepting an award saying something nice about another person …and the list goes on. AND sometimes the awards seem to take on a life of their own, please see the link below from the Huffington Post…Tis the season!


At graduation there will be speakers, Principals, Head Masters, Ministers, Guest Speakers, Board of Trustees and Students all trying to be inspirational, insightful and moving with a hint of humor.

And lets not forget the gatherings, the celebrations for all the graduates that go on for a few months before and after graduation. There are end of school parties, senior breakfast (parents go to high school very early in the morning to set up/prepare and more parents arrive to clean up after the seniors) senior proms, after parties, graduation parties at homes, Country Clubs, parks and/or graduation party weekends in the Bahamas’. And last but certainly not lease…the graduation gifts!

College graduations are my favorite. It truly is the most wonderful moment in time especially if your child has worked their tail off and graduates with honors. Having your child inducted “Magna Cum Laude,” watching them sign a historical book (over 100 years of tradition) making them an official member of a higher standard of academic excellence club, is a humbling experience as a parent and stepparent. Having your child receive a departmental award (money is given to students for their dedication, hard work and achieving success in their chosen field) OR having your child graduate from the honors college with honors…for you know for that high level success in life has nothing to do with you (the parent) and everything and all to do with your child (the graduating student.)

As a divorced mother (and remarried) it is a wonderful time when a family (Modern families) Parents, Stepparents, significant others, former in-laws etc., can come together with joy in their hearts. I was so grateful that my former husband and I were/are on great terms. We had been able to work through the pain of divorce and blame etc. move forward in a positive direction. Put the past behind us, remembering only the good/wonderful times we shared and be thankful. I give my former husband credit for everything he did and didn’t do which created opportunities for me (to support their father or to provide!) AND because of all the hard work of forgiving, letting go of the past and moving forward we actual honored our children with the ability to add joy, fun and laughter to the graduation weekend instead of making it awkward and difficult for all. In addition, it gave me an opportunity to show my children how a loving and gracious person should act, (life might not go as planned) but as my mother would say, ”children do as we do and not as we say.” The graduation weekend take away, life is about hard work, wide accepting arms and many loving hearts of support (regardless of blood lines)…. which we all felt. My former husband was most gracious to my husband and showed true respect and appreciation. Now in my opinion that was our gift to our children showing respect to each other and our children were most appreciative!

For many parents graduations can be sad for it will end friendships. They were friendships of convenience, standing around the lacrosse games; football games or swim meets to watch/support your child and hence other children on the playing fields. You got to know other parents and children throughout the years attending the same school events. You didn’t need to make plans to get together because they would just be there at the game. Parents sometimes would gather before and after games, supporting the team and each other in the life called parenting. There are parents whose social life is so attached to their child’s activities that graduation creates a huge void in their life.

But in this moment in time Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS and quote a dear friend’s husband. Their son graduated this year from a very prestige’s college, their son got a job that landed him in Chicago and he secured an apartment without any help from his parents. Sam said to his wife. “I’m not going to be impressed because Parker did what he was suppose to do, graduate, get a job and get a place to live without our help” Amen! I would say their son gave his parents the most wonderful graduation gift…by his actions he proved what fabulous parents they were!

Again, it has been my pleasure telling you what to do and what NOT to do!

Kindest regards,


President and CEO


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