Our first grandchild graduated from high school last weekend and we made the trip to be in the bleachers as he and his classmates received their diplomas.
It was great.
With our youngest grandchild due in August, we have another 20-plus years of high school graduations to attend, plus a lot of school events that will include ball games, band concerts and more.
With 43 years since my own high school graduation, I have trouble remembering what high school was like and there are times I have to remind myself I did go to high school, four years of it.
Our grandson participated in sports, played in the band, all while keeping his grades up so we have every reason to believe he has a bright future.
He has gone from being involved in school as part of his life for as long as he can remember to now waking up and realizing that that part of his life is done.
It won’t take too long before he will say, as we all have, “I don’t think I appreciated those years as much as I should have.”
He will have more choices now and the consequences of the choices he makes will be even greater. It is called growing up.
I can say when I graduated from high school I was green as grass and as naive as any one person could be.
It took another 10 or 15 years before I believe I had myself squared away as an adult. There are people who may yet think otherwise.
A common phrase we have seen on a report card is, “Not working to his potential.”
For me, that may be true, but I believe I have gotten as far as I am going to get.
We may never know my full potential.
I would have to say to my grandson, or anyone else who is interested, that I believe it is important to learn at least one new thing each day, even if it is one of the simplest of things.
To learn one new thing is to be active in discovery.
Discovery leads to wonderment and wonderment to appreciation of what a place this world is and especially the people who we come across each day.
As we were checking out of the motel Sunday morning in west central Minnesota, the young women behind the counter had a name tag showing her first name was Seda.
I heard a slight accent when she talked and I said, “I hear a slight accent. Where are you from?”
She said, “I am so glad it is a slight accent. I don’t think I will ever get rid of it. I am from Turkey. I want to blend in.”
She told me she had been in the U.S for 10 years.
I told her, “Don’t get rid of your accent. Then you will be like us and you will be dull. Why be a face in the crowd?”
She smiled and said, “I never thought of it that way.”
I held up my hand in a gesture of a high five and she returned it.
We were both smiling as I walked out the door.
I appreciated that she wanted to be a part of life here and she learned that while blending in was good, it was not necessary to lose those qualities that make anyone unique.
I learned something new that day and it came from a young woman standing behind a checkout counter at a motel.
Discovery is like that.
My grandson may have graduated from high school, but he has much to discover for the rest of his life.
It will be worth it.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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