a first graduation

When we started homeschooling, we thought it would be for one or two years.  Nick was in the 6th grade and we thought we'd get him through middle school then send him off to high school, stronger and better prepared.  But we grew to love learning together - on our own schedule, with our own priorities - and Nick never went to the public high school.  He took some online classes, read a lot of books, wrestled through math with his engineer-dad, played soccer, discovered his passion for photography, got a job, got two jobs,  took some courses at the community college and finally, graduated.

I worried a lot when he was younger about how it would all work out.  We don't have a local homeschool community or a lot of people who could help us figure things out.  I was winging it the whole way through.  We just took it year by year and pressed ahead.  Because we knew Nick wasn't planning on heading straight into a 4 year university, I didn't spend a lot of time on transcripts and deadlines and testing.  His senior year he went down to the community college, took some placement tests and started classes.   This fall he returns as a full time student.  That was that. 

When it came to graduation though, I did just about everything wrong.  I forgot to schedule a party.  I forgot the announcements.  I forgot to print a diploma.  I forgot a gift.  But somehow, just as He has all along this homeschool road, God put together something unexpectedly wonderful.   We had a simple party this weekend, just ice cream and sunshine and family - just about perfect.

The sweetest part of the whole celebration was watching the men of the family welcome Nick into adulthood.   They shared stories and advice and laughter, told about their own successes and failures and then they gathered around, reached out to lay their hands and prayed for him.  Watching my grown up son in the middle of those good men settled me.  He's going to be okay.  He has a good heritage and the blessing of his fathers and a good Lord to watch out for him.  God's grace covers it all.