Graduation

Our son graduated yesterday from The Roxbury Latin School. Blue skies, warm but not hot. Great speakers at the ceremony. A nice family lunch afterwards.

I’m very proud of him. He is a very honest and hard-working individual, known for his kindness and his intellect.

As a school Trustee, I sat up on the dais during graduation. So, throughout the ceremony, I could see the seniors’ facial expressions. No one looked bored. At various times, people looked nervous, a bit sad, and/or pleased. They all knew it was a life milestone for them, and they treated it accordingly.

I was particularly touched when a certain senior after the ceremony came up to me. He is a young man whom I’ve gotten to know very well after many years of carpooling. He is a great guy, and I’m excited that he is going to Yale. He asked that I visit him when I’m next in New Haven. I most definitely will.

Graduation is a process, I think, and not a single event. It is a gradual set of rituals and events and introspective moments, filled with many emotions that can conflict. A true milestone.

After six years of meeting with the same parents on game day sidelines and at various school events, it was a milestone event for me, too. I know I will keep in touch with many of the parents, but the regular rhythms of school meetings and events will be gone. And, I will miss seeing our son’s classmates.

In all honesty, my emotions yesterday (and, right now) include: happiness, amazement, gratitude, sadness, and longing. I again am reminded of the following: the days at times feel long, but the years always feel short.

I made a point last night to drive to some parties that some of the families held. I was a bit tired, but wanted to “show up,” knowing that it would be good to see people. I hate goodbyes, but it was something I wanted to do.

The school community is very tight-knit. There are only about 50 young men per graduating class at RL, and so, you get to know folks decently well. The students all know each other very well. In fact, nearly all alumni state that their best friends in life are people they met at RL. The teachers get to know well each student, too, and aspire to “know and love” each boy.

Last night, it was great to see a bunch of the graduates goofing around in a pool at a family graduation party, throwing a football, racing, etc. Not a care in the world. High school is over. College will begin in the fall. And, this is a time to enjoy one’s accomplishments. They looked very happy.

All the best to the RL Class of 2016. It has been a joy to see students arrive as young boys and develop to become young men.

I will miss all of you and am here to help should you ever need a sounding board, career advice, or life advice. Really.

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