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Saturday, June 08, 2013

Remarks Offered At The High School Graduation Ceremony Of A Home-Schooled Son


I can remember, distinctly, the last time my son held my hand when we crossed a busy street. It seems a very long time ago now. I remember it well, because at the time, it struck me as just that: The last time.

We caution our children to look both ways when they cross a street, in order that they can cross alone when the time comes. It’s just one of a million things we teach our children -- by word, a little, mostly by deed -- in the hope that it will be of some use to them when they’re older. It’s a terrible thing parents undertake, to teach your children to go away on their own, but we must do it if we are to be worthy to be called a parent.

My wife and I wanted our son to be an honest, productive, kind, intelligent, well-educated  and friendly person before we sent him out into the world. We thought we could do that best by educating him at home. His mother worked very diligently at it for him, and his brother too, and I resolutely stood by her side, ready to accept any credit for anything that turned out all right.

By his intelligence and effort my son has made himself all those things I mentioned earlier, and more. He’s worked hard on his studies, and will continue to do so, of course. He didn’t just learn things – he learned how to learn things, which is better. In the process, my wife and I have watched those childish things we treasure disappear one after another: The charmingly mispronounced word; the unsteady walk; the impolitic question about that lady with the tattoos in the grocery store; the little hand in yours when you cross the street.

We’ve entirely ruined him for ourselves, and made him useful only for strangers. I hope you’re all happy. We’re miserable about the whole thing. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

31 comments:

Kathy Hall said...

Just don't stop writing about him or I will be miserable!

H. Gillham said...

Oh, I love a proud papa. Makes me smile.

Congratulations.

leelu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leelu said...

(This time for sure...)

Congratulations to all of you on a job exceptionally well done!

julie said...

Congratulations, to all of you. On the plus side, maybe some of those strangers for whom he'll be useful will become friends, and eventually family.

Even in the letting go, when things go right, they enrich us all the more.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Leslie said...

I wish I could tell you it gets easier...it doesn't. You deserve every feeling of pride you have. Congratulations!

vanderleun said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Everyman said...

Vanderleun speaks for me, too, in part because I'm a father of sons of my own, and I am a bit choked up after reading your post. But then, I was privileged to meet your son(s) before your teachings were fully absorbed, and I am not surprised that it all seems to be going well, for him, and for you and your charming wife.

Dinah in Missouri said...

Congratulations to all of you for this job well done. I have a feeling that your anticipated outcome of a kind, thoughtful, curious and competent adult will be fulfilled. As a mom of two (now grown) sons, it's an ambivalent moment when you look up and see that they are....gone....and you pray you did something right.

Leatherneck said...

Congratulations and sympathy to you at this bittersweet moment. I have a feeling that you will be spared most of the surprise travails that dads of "adult" sons experience. He's built up a head of steam, and knows the course. Let him roll.

TC

HotHardware.com said...

Hey now! Congratulations! :)

Leon said...

congratulations!

did you have a ceremony with other homeschoolers?

isn't he too young to graduate? i thought he was 15.

Glynn said...

You did good, Greg.

Anonymous said...

Simply wonderful!!! Congrats to all- what next?

D

Thud said...

Bittersweet.

leelu said...

Horrible thought!

This won't break up the band, will it??

Sam L. said...

God bless you both, Mr. and Mrs. Sippi! Ya done real good!

Deborah said...

I am filled with joy for your family. What a splendid start you have given your son. It is a rare thing, and he will always be know the difference, and be grateful.

teresa said...

Aw, God bless you and your family, Mr. S. and God bless us every one!!!

Old Tybee Ranger said...

Our congratulations to Mom and Dad and your son(s). Such bonds will bear much fruit. Holding his hand now gives way to holding his heart. Been there, living that. Not always easy, but wonderful to share.

AML said...

Wonderful! Congratulations to all of you for this job well done.

Declan said...

Congratulations, Greg. Beautifully written.

My oldest will be ten in less than a month. After he finished a long baseball practice yesterday, he asked me to take him to an inexpensive shop for a sandwich.

We parked and began looking to cross the busy street. I reached for his hand and had a thought very similar to yours. I don't ever want to let go.

Shirley Eucantbeserious said...

Thank you, once again.

dadofhomeschoolers said...

I understand.

okechukwu ijere said...

God bless you both...www.unn.edu.ng

Pastor_Jeff said...

Congratulations! You've raised fine boys who are growing into wonderful young men.

All the best to all the Sippicans!

Sam L. said...

Well, Mr. Sippi, it's time to make good on your promises to erase the spam. Spam don't look good on the Heir's suit. Eggs would be worse, but they ain't yet showed up, just the yeggs callin' themselves anonymous.

It ain't nice to spam a good kid's suit.

Golden West said...

Wonderful news - congratulations to the Heir and best wishes to all!

OregonGuy said...

It was three months--six months?--after number two moved out that I discovered that I "used to" golf.

Now, neither one needs me for anything. Well, nothing other than simply to be their dad. They just need to remember to bring their sticks when they come back to visit!

Love, from another dad.
.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Just incredibly wonderful! Well done, all of you. Congrats!