Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

My son graduated yesterday magna cum laude from a Jesuit university with a degree in computer science and a math minor.

Unlike high school graduation which consists largely of parents and society congratulating themselves on the successful inculcation of the basics of life as well as the fundamentals of learning in our children, the four years of college are the culmination of one person's achievement in a setting where he/she has to demonstrate his/her capacity to operate independently, amidst temptations, snares, and plain old-fashioned wickedness.

Mothers Day (this year, at least) isn't about anyone patting me on the back and telling me about the good job I've done. Watching my son graduate yesterday suggests to me that Mothers Day is really about being glad in your child and knowing that, for all the failures and mistakes made over the course of twenty-one years, the things you said and the things you failed to say, the evils that you didn't adequately protect him against, the good that you inadvertently kept from him, the human being before you that calls you "mom" deserves celebration and so much pride.

I teared up last night when he asked me, his mother, to dance as part of the graduation gala, but laughed with joy watching him with friends out on the dance floor. I am his mother and I think he's adorable. He's a young man now and he goes out to do battle with so much in an unfriendly world. But I am incredibly proud to be his mom today.

(Oh, and the younger one looks fair to be doing as well in his turn...)