Chris in bootsMy Dear Grandson, Chris, today your life will change forever. Today you have reached a milestone. You now have your high school diploma…the first degree of your adult life. You have met all the requirements to receive your diploma, and that means the end of your high school career. You are an adult now, with the right to make your own decisions. You are really a whole new person. That is hard for the rest of us to accept, because while we know your age, and your schooling level, we can still see very clearly the baby and little boy you once were. We see him in every room you have been in…whether it is your parents house, or one of your grandparent’s homes. That little boy isn’t really gone now, but rather will live in our memory files, peeking out on occasion to run across the floor, in our memory anyway, giggling all the way. That little boy will always be there in my mind, but I am so proud of the man that little boy has grown into.

Graduation from high school is probably the most special graduation you will have, because it has taken so long to get there. In many cases it is the longest time you will spend in school. I can’t believe you are really at this point already, because like you, we thought the time from birth to graduation was about 18 years, but in reality, it flies by in the twinkling of an eye.

So much of life is ahead of you now. You are embarking on an exciting adventure as you spread your wings and fly a little ways away, to chase your dreams. I’m glad you won’t be too far away, but my heart misses my first grandchild already…and you haven’t even left yet. When you return to us next summer, you will be different…independent. You will have had the experience of living on your own, setting your own rules, and being your own boss. I have to wonder if we will even know you, when you return to us. Of course, I don’t really think you will change in such a total way, but my heart doesn’t always think straight when it comes to my babies. I have seen my nieces and nephews return home from college or living in another city, and there is a definite difference in them…one that was ok for my nieces and nephews, but this is my grandbaby now, and I don’t like this new idea very much.

Of course, for you…I want the moon. I want your plans and dreams to be exactly what you Chris Petersenhad in mind. I want everything to go your way, and I want you to have great success, but I don’t want you to forget where you came from, the good moral upbringing you received, and I don’t want you to forget your way home, because we are still here, and we will miss you terribly. I know that you have your next three years well planned, and you will do amazingly well in school. I can’t wait to hear about all you are learning, so don’t forget to call your grandparents from time to time. We are so proud of all you have accomplished and of the man you have become. Words cannot fully express just how proud. We love you so much. Congratulations on your high school graduation, my dear grandson, Chris!! Way to go!!

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