Thursday is the day before we leave to fly to Ohio for our son's graduation from graduate school. At a time when I would have loved to have the luxury of a week or two off, I managed the all important four days - travel day, graduation day, visit day, and travel day. We'll be home sometime Monday evening.
Quanah is 26 now and after non-stop school since kindergarten he now is putting formal education behind him. I remember him going into kindergarten at San Jose Day Nursery. He had a little dutch boy bowl haircut with the thickest, straightest hair. He was excited about school, curious about everything and thought his teacher, the redheaded Kim, was the best. By third or fourth grade the bowl had turned into a butch with the requisite tail at the nape of his neck. He was in private school at the time and the tail eventually had to go. I knuckled under that time but by the time we took him out of private school at the end of 6th grade, we did it in response to a lack of administrative control over classroom and school yard bullies. It's interesting that so many people put their children into private schools for the "safer" environment" and better education. We took our son OUT so that he WOULD be in a safer environment and the quality of his education didn't lessen.
Quanah flourished in public school and began to follow his first passion - MUSIC. He started music studies in fourth grade but it was in the seventh grade when he picked up a bassoon that he fell in love with music and that instrument in particular. By the time he graduated from high school, he had a career in music mapped out and college waiting for him in that Fall of 1998. His hair was thick, straight, clean and shiny, and oh so beautiful as it reached the middle of his back.
College flew by and we witnessed his first profound heartbreak, his many musical accomplishments, and his struggle as his career goals changed away from music. His love for music had not lessened but his other great passion, the Church, was taking over. For a while I thought Quanah might have a priestly vocation but a trip to Spain after graduation taught him that he needed to share his life with one someone.
Eight months after graduating with his Bachelor of Music degree, he was leaving for Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. In these past three years he has donated all his hair to Locks of Love, traveled to Russia, worked in prison ministry, studied in Rome, and grown and changed in ways I would have never imagined. Now, at the end of a long educational journey, on Saturday May 13th, we will be there watching as he receives a Masters Degree, with Honors, in Theology.
I'll be back at my computer on Tuesday with a lot to share with you all, my community of friends both near and far away.