Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Missed Graduation

I have a confession to make.
I didn't go to my son's graduation this spring.

He didn't go either.

I'm seriously ducking for cover!
My oldest accomplished something this spring that makes me amazingly proud.  I've been quiet about his accomplishments because I don't want this blog to be a brag-fest on my kids.  But he deserves a bit of recognition.

He's 18 years old.

For the last three years he has been attending the local Community College.  He started out part-time in 10th grade and then moved on to full-time in 11th and 12th grade.
But even though he's been taking college classes - in my mind he has still been in high school.  When people ask what grade he is in I have usually answered according to his high school years and then qualified it a bit.  Taking college classes in high school was NOT an attempt to push him ahead.  We weren't trying to fast-track our son so we could have bragging rights or to get him ahead of his peers.  We instead used the Community College as a way for him to take a wide range of classes in order to get a better idea of what he would or would not like to study when he goes to college.  In that way he could eliminate those careers that definitely did NOT interest him.  Over the last three years he was able to take all kinds of classes and was able to weed out most definitely what he did NOT want to major in!!  And in the process he earned over 60 credits and an Associates in Science degree.
And we are very proud of him.

We planned on sending out invitations and attending his graduation.  We planned on celebrating his accomplishments.  We really really did. 
We planned but made a terrible mistake of NOT checking to find out exactly WHEN the graduation was going to take place. 
We totally blew it.
I totally blew it.
We committed to doing "Annie."
Rob and Elijah and I. 
And we couldn't pull out after we discovered my mistake because there wasn't enough time. 
Ben was totally FINE with not having to attend his graduation.  Walking down the aisle in a cap and gown was NOT his definition of a fun time. 

He was perfectly happy.  He worked the night of his graduation and made a bunch of money.

  I felt like climbing under the house and staying there. 
Missing my own son's graduation is shockingly embarrassing.  Especially when I am seeing graduation pictures all over the internet... especially when I get graduation announcements from Ben's peers and cousins.. especially when he never was officially graduated from high school and this was supposed to be a combo-graduation.
I failed.
I didn't get to see my son move his tassel!
Ben makes me proud.

He wasn't 'Boy Wonder' and didn't graduate with straight A's, but he did graduate with honors.  This year he has faithfully worked part-time delivering pizza's for Papa Johns.  He has willingly and lovingly taken Aaron to school every single day without complaining.  He coaches swimming and helps us with business-related work.  He is planning on attending Liberty University this fall (his decision) if we can figure out how to foot that bill.  This summer he is working towards crossing the ocean to go on a short-term mission project.... It has something to do with Aaron's birth country.

But THAT is another blogpost.... and another whole story which I can't wait to share....
So stay tuned because after I get out from hiding under my house, I will tell you all about it...

In the meantime....

Benjamin Lee Nalle

Graduating Class of 2013

You make this Mama very proud!!


  1. Awww don't beat yourself up too much! I didn't want to go to my college graduation at all but my mean mother made me. :-P Borrrringggggggg and complete waste of time! The speaker was absolutely awful, so much that the entire crowd cheered and yelled when he said, "In conclusion..." LOL! No joke! Congratulations to you and your son on his great accomplishment! :)

  2. What a very special young man! Congratulations to him. Don't beat yourself up. Your love, support and always having his back will always mean more! Congratulations!

  3. Congratulations!!! My son Reese graduated yesterday from high school but he didn't quite get his AA - he is mid-Sophomore. He is also attending Liberty, but will have to start in the Winter, so he can finish his AA first. Maybe they'll have to meet! Sounds like he has quite a bit in common with Ben. :o) We also, are wondering how we are paying for his tuition, but at least he'll be 2 years ahead by that time, like you. ;o) Congrats, Mom!! :o)

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your son! It's hard to wear so many hats, and I'll bet that his "graduation" will be more memorable because of this blunder. All the best to Ben.

  5. Congratulations, Ben. The accomplishment stands, whether or not you did a particular ceremony. Julia, you have redeemed yourself with this beautiful tribute! God's blessing on his future!

  6. Congratulations, Ben!
    And a hug for his Mom, who should cut herself alittle slack. She has raised a wonderful, loving, God fearing did good!

  7. Julia, you constantly amaze me with all that you accomplish, while so clearly loving and caring for your family. Grace! :)

  8. Come on out from under your house Julia. You have a son who deserves your praise. It must have been hard going to school and college at the same time. You have also done so much as a family. How lucky your boys are to have you and Rob as their parents. Good luck to Ben and may God continue to watch over all of you. Looking forward to his getting his Bachelor's degree in 2 years.

  9. Hey, if he didn't care, you should feel zero guilt at all. I didn't have a graduation at all, and I didn't care either. What you do now is throw him a party and then he gets the fun part (friends, food, and presents) without the boring actual graduation part!

  10. I didn't graduate from high school; I snuck out after my junior year and went straight to university. I did walk for that graduation, but didn't have a party or anything... My husband didn't walk for his masters or PhD graduation (much to his parents' chagrin) so I don't judge people who don't walk. It's an awesome accomplishment anyway. Congratulations!

  11. We have spare caps and gowns. You could have your own celebration and photos shoot if you want!

  12. You should be one proud bragging mama!!! We love to celebrate that with you!!! Thanks for giving us the chance to by bragging a bit!

  13. How wonderful!! Congrats! It always brings me joy to hear how awesome are the siblings of children that have sn's.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!