My son "graduates" today from elementary school. Sunrise, sunset. He'll be headed to middle school in the fall, a land of 6th-8th graders.
My son. Two very powerful words. The words that follow those two are also very powerful, very important. Today, on the day of graduation, I borrow a few follow-up words from another father: in whom I am well pleased.
My son, I am well pleased with you. It seems a breath ago that I took the scissors from doc's hand and cut you free from your mother. A breath ago. But one breath follows another, if we live, and today finds you standing on the shore, looking out at the sea of adolescence. There are wonders to behold ahead. There are also waves and wind and storms. I believe, my son, that you have it within you to face what lies ahead. And I believe, as you do, that there is one who goes before you, my son. Always before you. He is the one who loves you even more than I do.
You entered a fun-run when you were six. Just as the race started, you fell in a clump of boys. As you stood up, your knee was bleeding and you began to cry. You looked around and found my eyes, eyes that said My son, I believe in you. You then amazed me by finishing the run, the whole blessed thing. I ran alongside you, cheering, hoping, praying. You finished the race, you completed the course. Bloodied and streaked with tears, you stood with a medal 'round your neck. I believed on that day, as I do on this day, that your mother and I named you well. Will - "strong, resolute one." In what lies ahead, my son, I will still run beside you, as best I can, cheering, hoping, praying.
I could say much here, my son, about the days ahead. And I will, as days ahead come. But today is today. Today is still in the land of field trips and playgrounds and watching Arthur and being big boy on campus and Saturdays where you don't have a care in the world. So, let's celebrate today, my son. You have run well this first leg. Let's stop and smell the columbines. I am well pleased in you, with you. You are my first-born son, my might, my strength. I love you so it makes my heart ache.