Today is graduation day for a wonderful friend of mine. When I first met him, he was just a skinny little kid in a Superman t-shirt. He was funny and kind and far too responsible and reliable for a 12 year-old. When you would look at him, you could see the leader he was becoming. He was smart and silly and always knew which the situation called for. He asked questions and sought my advice and put others ahead of himself.
Now, all these years later, the only thing that has changed is his age and the fact that he is no longer becoming a leader. He has become.
Jarrett grew up in front of my eyes at summer camp, from camper to LIT to joining my staff as a counselor and then to training future counselors. He found a home at camp, and camp found a home in him. Watching him journey from boy to man has been one of the closest things I've ever known to being a mom.
Well, maybe an older sister. Or just a really wise and cool aunt.
Today marks the end of a long road, Jarrett. You probably could have reached the end more quickly, but where is the beauty in that? The freeway is fast, but it is drab and devoid of hidden treasures.
The road has not always been smooth, especially this past year, yet life is full of pot holes and traffic jams. Everyone would rather just ignore those obstacles, but you have the patience to wait it out and the knowledge that traffic eventually clears. And you understand what to do when the wheels fly off. It is astounding the number of people in this world, sitting on the side of the road, unable to go on.
This hasn't always been an easy trip. There have been detours and wrong turns and missed exits. But sometimes, I believe, the only way to truly find your path is to get lost a few times first.
Yes, it's been a long road to this day, Jarrett. But I hope the journey has been worthwhile. And although I can't be there to root you on in person today, when you cross that stage, just know that, in my heart, I'm in the audience, waving a big ol' glittery sign and embarrassing the hell out of you.
Because that's what moms and big sisters and cool, wise aunts really do.
Happy Graduation Day, Superman. I am so very, very proud of you.