Another cousin graduates from high school today, and once again Maggie and I are staying home. It is hard to miss so many family milestones, but we have to do what we can with what we have.
Remarkably this is the only graduation in the extended family this year. There have been as many as 6 graduations from various levels of education in past years, so having just one is amazing. The next generation in our family is big. There are a total of 24 "kids" on both sides of the family. Those "kids" range in age from 15 to 36, so we are nearing the end of the high school years. Mike, who finishes today is #20 out of 24. They don't get any less exciting or important, though.
Of all the levels, I love high school graduations the most. It is such a milestone. Don't get me wrong, college graduation is an amazing feat but high school is something special. It is the end of childhood. Often it is celebrated with friends with whom you have spent your childhood, those you you will be leaving behind as you move on to college, perhaps in a different city of state. The kids know it's a big deal, but they can't really grasp the significance until they look back on it years later.
It can be bittersweet for the parents because they do know what an important step it is. The little bird is ready to fly and though they might not want them to leave the nest they are full of pride at reaching the threshold. Parents know, though that even the best little bird might need a little help flying and their job is not done - not by a long shot. My poor boys will be sending their own kids off to college and I will still think of them as little kids.
Steve picked up his dad and Mike's grandmother Sally (beautiful name) and is heading up to his sister Marie's house in Mt. Shasta. They will attend the ceremony and the party following and come back on Sunday. Since travelling is just out of the question for Maggie we are staying here sending out congratulations to Mike and to his mom and dad too. Well done, all of you.
Wish we could be there.