Once in a while something comes along that makes the job of being a Village Councillor truly worthwhile and worth all of the hard work.
Last night was one of those occasions.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Graduation Exercises for the Fredericton High School Class of 2011 at the Aitken Centre.
I had received invitations in the last couple of years but for whatever reason was unable to attend until this year.
I really didn't know what to expect as I had not been to one of these before.
Heck, I didn't even go to my own high school graduation ceremony.
Actually, when I earned my Grade 12 Diploma at A. Y. Jackson Secondary School in North York I intended on continuing on to Grade 13 the following year.
The Grade 12 diploma didn't seem like a big deal to me so I skipped the ceremony.
I suppose I could say that a representative of Canada's postal service presented me with my Grade 12 diploma. (It came in the mail).
I did go into Grade 13 but didn't quite get that diploma at the end. I dropped out that year and went back the next year to try out "Grade 14".
I didn't get the diploma that year either.
It's a long story that I won't bother telling right now but I WILL say that I made a lot of friends and had a very good time that year. :)
It was a weird time in my life. I'll leave it at that.
What I wasn't expecting last night was to see a class of almost 500 kids take a very large step into their adult lives.
I had no idea that there were so many! Granted, FHS has over 1900 students in Grades 9-12 so I should have figured it out that about a quarter would be graduating last night. FHS website
It was incredible to see so many kids down there. I was in the reserved area of the stands. There were at least 1000 family members and friends filling the stands.
It was almost like being at a UNB Varsity Reds game except that it was very very hot in there last night.
Usually in such a situation I may try to find a way to escape and get air but last night I sat there in the heat for the whole time and applauded while every single student's name was called and they went up to receive their diplomas.
It may sound a bit odd but I was okay with that. Really.
I only knew a few of the kids that were graduating but I felt very proud for all of them.
I know that I would never be called upon to speak at these ceremonies but I sort of wished that I was.
I would like to have told them what was going on in my head as I watched the ceremony.
I would have told them that just a couple of days before I was stunned to realize that even though it felt like my boys had just gone into middle school they were in fact ending their second year.
I wish I could have told them how scared I am to know that before I know it my sons will be heading into that very school that they are now leaving after 4 years.
I would have told them that even though there may have been days that FHS felt like the last place in the world that they wanted to be, in fact, their days at FHS are probably going to be the ones that they look back with the most fondness as they move on in life.
I would have said that it scares the hell out of me to know how fast the day is coming that my two "little" boys will be sitting there in those seats at their own graduation ceremony.
I would have told them that I was pretty certain that those parents up in the stands with me were feeling a worry that every parent will always feel that their "babies" will be okay as they grow up and move on in their lives.
I wish I could have told them that wherever they are going and however busy and wild their lives will become tomorrow, please sit down once in a while and talk to those who love you.
Because they really do want to know how you are and what's going on.
Finally, I wish that no matter what places they go and what wonders and worries they are certain to face that they come out happily and safely on the other side.