My second daughter Taylor graduated a couple of weeks from Spring Lake High School in Michigan. Not only was this a big day for her, but also for our entire family. It’s always amazing when a major life milestone like this occurs, especially with a child or loved one, as to how our mind and emotions process and take it in. I know the day was full of many emotions as my mind swirled with lots of memories during the drive to the event, at the ceremony, and especially afterwards when we greeted her with hugs and flowers outside the gym with happy friends, families, and lots of other new graduates.
I thought I’d share with you three quick observations on life inspired from my daughter’s recent graduation.
- Life moves quickly. It seems like yesterday, Taylor was a little girl hanging out with her stuffed frog and playing in the front yard without a care in the world. Yes, my little girl has grown into a bright, young woman. I used to think that her graduation was far, far away in the future. When it arrived, I was shocked, for a variety of reasons, but mainly as I couldn’t believe how quickly life rushes by. When we’re in our 20’s and 30’s the clock of life is moving rapidly however we often don’t recognize or choose to believe it until a major life moment like this take place.
- We at times take people and things for granted. When life is clicking by and things are stable, we often assume that life is okay, and moving along at a comfortable and predictable pace. Here’s the danger: when we do that, we can get too comfortable and take things for granted. What do I mean? We can get complacent when things are going well. When there’s no adversity. When everything is fine. Not that this is bad by any means, but here’s the challenge: How do we appreciate others, life, our health, our blessings on a consistent daily basis when everything appears to be okay? Routine? I ask these questions, as I truly believe that we often don’t truly appreciate things until a crisis or major change jolts and forces us into paying attention.
- It’s been a joy to watch her journey. I haven’t been the perfect dad. I’m not being critical, just real. To see how Taylor has dealt with little life changes, to major changes such as her mom and I divorcing when she was 11, to me being on the road a lot with my career, to both my former wife and I remarrying again, I know it hasn’t been easy on her or her siblings. I’ve also watched her work hard holding down part-time jobs during the school year and summers, while also maintaining a tough class load with high honor accolades and scholarships earned. She has worked hard, studied hard, and has also been an active participant in many sports. I am certain that Michigan State University made a wise decision to accept her as she begins her Freshman year of College this fall.
I type these words with a big smile on my face and a beaming heart as it’s been incredible to see her grow, evolve, and mature into a young woman. Her graduation was an 18-year culmination of many things, experiences, people, and places. When she walked across the stage to receive her diploma, I couldn’t help but thank God for her, her life, and shed a tear of joy upon her graduation day as a loving father.