I hope spring is in the air and with it seeds of new ways of being. Parents have been calling and asking about tips for graduation and crying that it is almost here... change. Most of them have said they are so busy that tears still fall with the last events of school days, but they want to make graduation day fun. Oh the art of enjoying and being present, packed with Kleenex.
So, I thought we would share here what helped in the celebration and the falling of tears. I think a reminder is....this is their day so ask what ideas they have and offer ones you have been thinking about. Everyone is so busy and emotional for good reason that the ones, who can offer suggestions, have a chance to take that lead.
One of my favorite high school graduation things was to put things in every room that were part of my daughter's life...soccer uniform, red and white skirt that she had to wear everyday in pre school, art she made, photos, letter to the tooth fairy begging her to leave something but not take her tooth, framed collage saying from here to there with photos at different ages of her life and with the people she loves. I had pamphlets and photos of the college she was heading towards so people had an image of her new life.
College graduation, I didn't ask her, but took a risk that it would be ok if I gave everyone from the family her favorite song on a CD and played it at the restaurant, since the restaurant is a place she worked and they loved surprising her. It was called. “HEAVENLY DAY” by Patty Griffin. I still cry seeing all of us at the dinner table, looking at her in her fresh white sleeveless dress, long brown hair, warm smile, and hearing the song.
I also had two wish bowls on the table and paper and pens for people to write a wish and roll it up and toss it in the bowl...they were funny and sentimental as she read them out loud and we tried to guess who wrote them. I gave each person who came to her celebration a hanky for graduation day.
Photos were taken all weekend with throw away cameras and quickly developed so I could pass them around at our last gathering on campus and then save them for her. I even gave cameras to the little ones and they loved seeing the photos they took and then gave to my daughter.
Parents over this spring break plan to have the graduation celebration planning talk, but realize their children just might not know what they want right now. So here's to planning and helping everyone on the way to a milestone of pride and change.
Lots more to say later about caring for yourself during the celebration, but for sure, crying will happen and choosing to enjoy all of it rather than care taking or worry, will make this joyous moment full.
Feel the pride and excitement of their hopeful future. Believe in them and smile big that you carried love for them all through their growing life and from that, they are blooming.