So many times over the years I have heard people say that age is only a number. It is really as well. Mind you, I still remember a number that was much less than 44. As a youth, I almost felt immortal, could see the future spreading out before me, like a mighty highway into the unknown. I saw young people, middle-aged people and old people, people at different stages of life, all travelling their individual highways. I didn’t care where they were heading or how far along the highway of life they had travelled. I only cared about me.
Today is an important day. It’s a milestone for me, a reminder to me that I am no longer a headstrong youth without responsibilities and without the need to worry about tomorrow. Today is the day my son graduated ninth grade. I was twenty-eight when he was born. He changed my life, made me see things in a totally different way. I was now a parent, a proud father.
He went to the same school for nine years. I was working there when he first began, although left when he went into fourth grade. That school was only five minutes away from my home and each morning, on my way to work, I would pass that school and say, “My son goes there.” That’s all about to change.
I watched today as he received his diploma, as he sat in the church with his friends, knowing that next term, many of them will be going to different schools. I shed a tear and I took photos when he stepped out into a cloudy summer in Sweden. Then I walked him home and sat down with him to eat the fresh cream, strawberry cake I had prepared for him. Has he really completed the first nine years of his education…wow!
His path is opening up, spreading wayward; stretching out before him. I couldn’t be prouder than I am today.
Here I am, neither old nor young. I am somewhere in the middle, my highway of life spreading away in two different directions. I have learned so much about life, gained experience and have very few regrets. I wonder though if youth isn’t wasted on the young.
I wonder also if my son’s children to be will experience a traditional graduation in a church. Sadly, it is being phased out. The traditions the Swedes have always held dear are now being pushed aside. It is now considered racist to sing the national anthem, to wave the Swedish flag or to go to a traditional church graduation.
I am not racist, far from it. But these are traditions that should never be taken away. The peoples of the world should be proud of who they are and where they come from. It should never be wrong to celebrate something as wonderful as a traditional church graduation. Within the Christian world, the church should always be held with high regard and the children of Sweden should always be allowed to experience a traditional graduation in a church.