Sunday, June 21, 2009

Good Advice

As Hallmark so ubiquitously reminds us, June is for "Dads and Grads."  We've had a relaxing and wonderful Dad's Day, with our SSF papa spending most of the day poking around with his son until that got too exhausting and he napped.  As it should be.

The other June tradition of emerging from academic studies to face the future sees graduates every year peering at what seems to them unprecedented challenges and unheard of crises.  And yet, in a very real sense, war and peace, fear and hope, loss and opportunity are all timeless realities that each generation turns its attention to in its own unique yet universal way.

Here at SSF, we mark a graduation of sorts ourselves - a finishing of one schooling experience and the looming challenge of another:  Dylan and his classmates ran through the long tangled tunnel of children's arms on Friday to emerge as elementary school "graduates."  But, unlike most of the kids that ran ahead or behind him, he won't be sitting in all the middle school classes come next fall.

For a broad palette of reasons, we've chosen a cafeteria-style approach to middle school, combining certain classes at our local district school with an afternoon homeschool curriculum.  So, as silly as a 5th grade "graduation" may seem on its face, for our family it really does represent a major milestone.

Many years ago, I read a column by a Chicago columnist, aimed at the graduating class of that year.  It stuck with me and I was, in turn, delighted to stumble upon a musical version of the very same column that has become something of a cult phenomenon.  For about a year now, I’ve been battling with my iTunes to figure out a way to share it with my GGF – her daughter is moving through school alongside my son and the essay/song seems to me even more relevant to the ears of girls than boys.  Truth be told, it is good advice for male and female, young and old.  Its wisdom occurs to me often in the course of any given day.

Lo and behold, as I was pulling weeds just now – another great task for solving the world’s problems – I had the pathetically obvious epiphany:  YouTube.

So, herewith GGF, other close friends with growing children, and anyone else in need of a little insight into getting up each day and making friends with the passage of time.  A graduation present:

Everybody's Free -


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