Green River Star -

By Lu Sweet
Western Wyoming Community College 

Lifelong Learning: growing, growing, gone

 


It’s that time of year where schools all the way from pre-school through college, celebrate the accomplishments of students through graduation and commencement activities and ceremonies. This year, I am very excited as I actually have three graduates in my house. My 16 year old is graduating high school and heading into her sophomore year of college already. She is well on her way to becoming an amazing success at whatever she chooses to do. She has already accomplished so much and she is by no means “done.” Every time I stop for a minute and look at her, I can’t believe she is that old already and is already accomplishing so many amazing things. Time flies and I am both proud and sad as she is growing, growing and almost gone.

My 6 year old, Madi, is graduating from kindergarten and making the big move to first grade. She has grown so much this year, not just physically, but academically and socially. The book “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum is so true. He talks of lessons such as “Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life (learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work) every day. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder.” These are lessons the little ones are learning and Chloe and my other grown children learned way back when. They are also ideals we should all pay attention to, no matter how old we get. We should take a minute and make life that simple and right. One day Madi came home with a bracelet on the principal had given all the students. It read “Be Your Best.” She was so angry. When I asked her what was wrong, she said that the bracelet was false advertising because you can’t always be your best. Sometimes you just have bad days. She added that this was putting too much pressure on her so she wasn’t going to wear it. Wow! She may be in kindergarten, but kinda had a little teenage attitude right then. (Like I said, they grow up fast!)

Gracie, my 5 year old is graduating from pre-school and will go to kindergarten in the Fall. A few weeks ago, she heard me say “FYI” during my conversation. She asked me what it meant and I said, “For your information.” Then she retorted, “Duh Mom, I know it’s for my information. That’s why I am asking you what it means.” So, after trying not to laugh, smile or smirk, I simply said, “FYI means ‘Just so you know.’” So now she will come up to you and randomly say, “Hey, FYI, Just so you know” …and then tell you something she thinks is fascinating or interesting in her big-girl tone. Again, children grow up so fast. I remember when Chloe and my oldest two girls were Gracie and Madi’s ages. It really does seem like yesterday,…but I guess I blinked.

Children seem to cut teeth one day then crawl the next, then walk and then take off running through life. They copy us and look for our approval and support as they grow. And even if we are busy, we should never be “too busy” or we will miss it all. They will be gone and well on their way so very soon. We need to enjoy them while we can, before they are growing, growing, gone! I am so proud of all my children and all that they have accomplished. I am proud of the people that they are and the people they are still becoming. I know each one of them will make a huge difference throughout their lives, doing whatever they choose to do. They have already made such a difference to me in my life. I love celebrating them and all that they do. I also want them to know I am proud of them for being who they are, and that “being their best” is good enough for me, “FYI.” Congratulations to ALL those graduating this year and moving on to their next chapters. What an exciting time.

 

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