The Graduate

“I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it…”

This weekend is one that I have looked forward to for a long time.Four years ago, almost to the day, my son Scott, and I boarded a plane bound for Cincinnati, Ohio. We were on our way to visit the college that had he had chosen to attend, far from his home in Florida.

We were on an official tour and spent the day visiting classrooms, dorms, the library and cafe. We met the professors and advisors who would guide him through his major area of study. Of course Scott loved walking into Cintas Center and seeing the basketball arena for the first time.

We walked around campus enjoying the Spring weather. Students were outside on the green throwing frisbees, soaking up the sun, and walking to class.

My intuition strongly hinted that this was going to be the right place for my boy. I was certainly going to miss him (and I had no idea how hard that first year was going to be for me,) but I knew deep down that he was going to thrive in this environment. It was a perfect fit.

My instincts were correct- he has had a wonderful four years. Living in the freshman dorm and learning the painful lesson that freedom comes with a price were probably the toughest adjustments to make.

Scott found a couple of jobs, joined the club football team, played intramural sports, spent last summer gaining experience through an awesome internship, and made life-long friends.

I’m so proud of my son, for his many accomplishments, but more importantly, I am proud of his resilience. The past four years have had its share of challenges. The biggest one came this past winter, when one week before he was scheduled to return to begin his last semester of college, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Scott didn’t let this diagnosis stop him. He quickly got over his squeamishness at needles and drawing blood and learned to prick his finger and inject himself with insulin. He went back to school a week later, weighed down with glucometers, a whole new vocabulary and a new way of living.

He never looked back. He went to class, went to work, hung out with friends, and took care of himself.
I’m not sure I would have bounced back that quickly. His attitude has remained upbeat.

When he walks across that stage on Saturday and receives his degree, I will be cheering and crying. He has so much to celebrate, and so do I.

Scott on his college visit late April 2008
© annettealaine-2012
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