To A Graduate
You couldn’t have been any more than three years old the Saturday night your parents dropped you off at our house, on their way to a nice dinner out. We were only too happy to watch you for a few hours, especially with the assurance that you’d fall asleep, no problem, in just half an hour or so.
So we soon carried you off to bed, tucked you in, said goodnight and turned off the light. When we checked in on you fifteen minutes later, you were sitting up in bed, wide awake, just looking around.
We brought you back downstairs, read another story to you, then tried to put you down again, with the same results – twice.
Giving up the ghost of you ever falling asleep under our roof, we wound up playing with you in the living room until your folks arrived. At some point during the evening I must have marveled as to how you were a real party animal, because when your mom wondered why you were still awake, you thrust both arms triumphantly into the air and said “Because I’m a party animal!”.
And thus the twig was bent.
Upon the occasion of your graduation from high school, I wrote to you and cited the example of the numerous high school plays we had attended together and the lessons to be gleaned from them. Particularly, I recalled a favorite production of Peter Pan, and I encouraged you to fly.
Now you’re about to graduate from college, and fly you have!
You immersed yourself in your school and the town, as if you were trying to cram ten pounds into a five-pound sack.
You threw the weights during track seasons for your school, and played the clarinet for the local Chamber Orchestra, all while majoring in history .
During the down period that is the month of January at a lot of small private colleges, you spread your wings and visited Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands two years ago, and adventured to Riga, Latvia, this year (giving rise to questions pertaining to your sanity – Russia in the dead of winter? Really? Some History major you are! Both Napoleon and Hitler had their demises hastened by just such a trip).
You’ve spent the last four years realizing you can fly.
Couple that with what you learned when you were three, and the sky might not be the limit for you, Carolyn.
For you are a party animal.
There’s no question about it.