Saturday, June 1, 2013

30 Days of Beauty-Day 1: A Parent's Pride

This is the season for graduations.  Facebook is filled with pictures of parents with their children in caps and gowns.  The mail brings invitations for Open Houses.  Our calendars fill up with celebratory events.  I like being a part of this season.  I particularly enjoy how the event is played out on Facebook.

My News Feed on Facebook is filled with graduation pictures.  The graduate is beaming with a sense of accomplishment.  They are often surrounded by friends.  In some pictures, they are ALL smiling.  In others, the friends are exhibiting their camaraderie by goofing off for the camera.  However, the pictures I enjoy most are those of the graduates with a parent.

There is a unique beauty that I see in the smiles of these parents.  They are so proud!  If you look closely, you can often see tears in their eyes.  I look at them and know too well what they are feeling.

We always congratulate the graduate.  After all, they have achieved a great milestone in their lives.  However, I always make sure that I congratulate the parent.  Parents have been the ones to fight over homework, provide encouragement, stay up until the wee hours of the morning making costumes/projects they just heard about that are due the next day, dried tears of frustration at assignments that were particularly challenging, and listened to endless tales of school, friends, and fears.  Parents have gone through a lot to get to this milestone.

This is also the time when parents begin to realize that their child is truly growing up.  Children will go away to school or begin a job or travel without them.  While being proud that their child has reached this point in life, the future is scary for a parent.  It starts to dawn on them that they are no longer the center of their child's world.  They have to trust that they have done a good job preparing this young adult for the world out there!

So, next time that you see a picture of a parent with their graduating child, look at the beauty of the moment reflected in their smiles.  Know that they are feeling tremendous joy and ever-present nostalgia for the time that has gone by.  Be sure to give them a hug and tell them what a great job they have done.  They've earned it.  Congratulations, Mom and Dad!

Have you found your joy today?

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