December 17, 2013

I wish I could report that I spent Jane Austen's birthday yesterday reading some of my favorite passages from her books, while sipping tea in front of the fireplace, perhaps stitching a little on my current sampler, and watching Colin Firth  any old actor--playing Mr. Darcy in a Pride and Prejudice movie. (Okay, I really do mean Colin Firth, in my mind there just isn't a substitute....)  But alas, I am sorry to report that I spent the day at work in front of a computer, followed by a snowy and cold bus ride home, and then spent the evening putting finishing touches on my holiday decor in anticipation of hosting my team's office party on Thursday after work.  Oh well, perhaps one of you were able to pick up the torch in my stead and celebrate in true Jane fashion?

And speaking of celebrating, I wanted to share some special pictures of my son's college graduation from last Saturday!  As you can tell, the speakers were riveting and the messages were touching.  Or perhaps not, judging by how interested my family was:

Son #1 playing solitaire

Son #2 listening to music on his headphones

Daughter taking a break from her Solitaire game to show her Dad how to play the Tiger Woods golf game on his new smartphone...

Meanwhile, down among the graduates...
Son #3 looks like he is dozing off....(he's the cute redhead with the beard in the middle of the picture, sitting at the end of a row right next to the nearest yellow stanchion...the one who looks like he is sleeping.  If he's not sleeping, then I guarantee you he is playing a game on his smartphone or texting someone...)

And what was I doing, I can just hear you ask.  I was a good girl.  And it was hard.  Because I had a book in my purse and really wanted to pull it out, but thought better of it.  Probably because of the following story about son #3....When he was a little boy he was on a little league team.  I had four children all playing some form of baseball that year so I spent the whole summer watching games and I am the mom who finds sports boring.  I blush to admit this, but I try to be truthful on my blog.  I always swore I would never have anything to do with athletics, which is why God laughed and made sure I fell in love with a football star, who put himself through college on football AND baseball scholarships, and later coached football and diving.  The universe has a warped sense of humor, have you noticed??

So on a really warm summer day I found myself sitting on bleachers at a park, watching my son out in left field.  He wasn't doing much, just kind of standing there.  I had a really interesting book with me that had me pretty absorbed, although I would remember to look up occasionally and yell something encouraging like "way to go, Matt!" although he was still just kind of standing there.  I was in the middle of a suspenseful part when the mom next to me nudged me and said softly "I think your son is trying to get your attention."  I looked up and there he was, looking straight at me.  Then he quietly brought his two hands up and mimed slamming a book SHUT.  The whole bleacher full of moms laughed.  Message received!  I didn't find the game any more interesting, but it wasn't for lack of watching after that!

And as I sat there in the auditorium, watching my beautiful baby boy walk across the stage, receiving hugs from the professors who had come to like and respect my son, I was filled with pride.  Pride at his accomplishments.  Pride at his amazing talents.  Pride at his sunny disposition and cheerful way of meeting life head on.  And pride that I had managed to leave the book in my purse.  

And although the speakers had all insights to share with the graduates, I still think Rudyard Kipling summed it up best:

IF you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to your son! And yes, there are times when books and cell phones, etc... need to be set aside, so the wonder of the moment can really sink in. :-)