If We Were Having Coffee #8 – Not Your Usual Suspects

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If we were having coffee, I would have a number of choices to offer you today. I have hazelnut, Columbian, that decaf breakfast blend that won’t go away, and a Lavazzo Classic. I’m going with the Lavazzo and a Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream.  I’m really loving Lavazzo coffee. The package says it’s Italy’s favorite. I wonder if it is but I would bet there is a menu in Italy offering Pabst Blue Ribbon as America’s favorite beer. You just never know.

It’s raining here in New York so I can’t think of anywhere better to enjoy our coffee than my back porch and the beautiful view it offers of the woods behind my house. A teasingly slow drizzle that has graced us for hours now.

It’s been a busy three weeks since I have posted here. I’ve had a birthday, enjoyed Father’s Day, watched my youngest play his last Little League game, and last night, proudly watched my oldest son graduate high school. It didn’t rain last night so his high school held the graduation outside. Perfect.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the event was bittersweet for me as a parent and I suspect it was bittersweet for many of the teenagers graduating. I know it was for me as a teen. I remember standing around on the football field realizing it was over, my immediate thoughts being a reflection on what I had accomplished. I was a straight “A” student, top 5% of my class, and I played football.  That was it. And I had instant regrets that I had not gotten involved more. I then walked around in a daze looking for any of my family members who might have attended. There were none which is a long story in itself.

Because of that, and similar experiences my wife had in high school, we’ve continually pushed my son to make the most of his time. If you’ve read my posts before, you know he has despite the small case of senioritis he contracted sometime this year. He wasn’t alone. There seemed to be an epidemic but the kids worked through it along with their teachers and their parents.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’ve heard enough feel good graduation speeches that often sound the same. We are the new generation, we are going to change the world, it’s our time now, etc. etc., blah blah blah….  Last night was different.

Three speeches were given by students and although they were all good, there was one that resonated with me. The young lady who gave the speech has been one who has struggled in the past giving speeches. Chalk it up to shyness, youth, or whatever you want. She opened her speech confessing her feelings of being uncomfortable speaking in public. She then went on to discuss her gratefulness to the community, her educators, her friends, and her family for the impact and role they have all played in her and her classmates lives. Thankfulness. It was sincere, very personal, and it made me want to cry.

As parents, we would like to think we are solely responsible for molding or guiding our children. For lack of a better word, that’s bullshit. I don’t want to quote any It Takes a Village verbiage because I don’t particularly care where that speech originated (no offense to you fans) but last night I realized that it really does. Our children our influenced by their peers, their community, their educators, social media, their heroes, celebrities, their siblings, and of course their parents.  Not your usual suspects and all play a role, like it or not. Because of that, all bear some responsibility. They are kids. They are our kids, our friends’ kids, the communities’ kids.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m very proud of my son and his class of 2015. The realization that high school is over for him is still not sinking in today. Maybe it will tomorrow. We leave for new student orientation at the university he will be attending. The next chapter begins and with more people who will play a role in the man that my son is becoming.

Until next time…

My son

My son

 

26 Comments

  1. Glad to have you around this week! Sounds like you’ve been particularly busy. Congrats to your son!

  2. Congrats to your son and you and your wife too, Bill. I absolutely agree that it takes a village, but as we’ve been seeing this year with our son (in high school) sometimes the messages he gets from the village aren’t the healthiest and/safest. So in my opinion, we parents sometimes need to be the voices of reason. Not all the time, of course. I’m so thankful for the people in our son’s life who are helping him and guiding him in good directions, but when there are really tough decisions to be made, it’s often us parents who have to make them. As always, thank you for a thoughtful post.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      June 30, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks Mary. I believe that being involved helps if for nothing more than being that voice of reason. It can be challenging with so many mixed messages out there but I feel he’s handled them pretty good so far (or so we think, lol).

  3. Lovely, reflective post. Congratulations to you all on your son’s graduation. I think as our kids get older it gets harder, not easier, as we have less and less control over the influences in their lives. All we can hope is that they are lucky to some extent and that our own guidance over the years has stuck in there somewhere for when they need it!

    • W.C. Cunningham

      June 30, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Thank Helen. His last year of HS was a bit challenging but it all worked out and we feel he sees the big picture.

  4. I think that CONGRATULATIONS are in order, and best of luck to your son in the future!

  5. Your post brought back my own memories of the day I graduated high school 😀

  6. What a wonderful post Bill. Great to hear of all the good news, and congratulations to your son on his graduation.

    Sitting outside undercover while it is raining during the summer months is a favourite of mine. I love the smell and sound of the rain and the freshness it sometimes brings back to the air.

    Great coffee as always. Have a great week.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      June 30, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Hugh. I don’t know if it’s me getting older or just the area I live now but I find the rain more and more comforting.

  7. Your coffee sounds wonderful! Congrats to your son’s accomplishment on graduating from high school!

  8. I will have columbian, please! Congratulations on your son graduating high school! That is a great accomplishment. I have to ask, will you continue to push your son to be involved in college as well? I wasn’t very involved in high school or college and I don’t regret it at all. Although, I am a quite happy introvert. Anyway, loved your share!

    • W.C. Cunningham

      July 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks! I think our pushing him to get involved helped him get some of the scholarships he got along with helping him get accepted into the program he got accepted to in college. As for college, no. We’ll suggest he make the most of it and enjoy himself how he sees fit. He’s on a good size academic scholarship so he realizes his grades are first and foremost in order to maintain it. I think he’s grounded enough to not take on more than he can handle.

      • Awesome to hear that he is on such a good scholarship! That definitely makes like life easier post college. Side note: It’s terrible that so many college graduates have to start their professional life off with so much student loan debt!

        Anyway, best of luck to your son!!!

  9. Congrats on the graduation and moving on to college. Thanks for the coffee. We didn’t do much this weekend, just drove around and enjoyed the mountains, lounged around the pool and the house a bit. Now I’m getting caught up on blogs, reading, writing, etc.

  10. stuckinscared

    June 29, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Oooh, spoilt for choice… Hazelnut for me please.

    Congratulations to your Son (and you) on his Graduation 🙂

  11. It’s raining here in New York so I can’t think of anywhere better to enjoy our coffee than my back porch and the beautiful view it offers of the woods behind my house. A teasingly slow drizzle that has graced us for hours now.

    Wow.-Shareen

  12. Lovely post. Congratulations to your son.

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