pastoral/spiritual care

Growing Up

“There’s a carrot top who can barely walk with a sippy cup of milk.”  -- lyric from the Rascal Flatts song “My Front Porch Looking In”

There is a picture of my two oldest daughters where the older, age 4, is holding the younger, age 2, on her lap on the couch.  It’s a special picture indeed.  In about one month, the younger daughter will walk across the high school graduation stage, making it difficult for me to think about where the last 18 years have gone.  The picture of both is so very precious, and reminds me of how close in age they are and how much they are both very different and very alike.  The younger has beautiful auburn-colored hair, and the older has golden-colored hair that is not as curly now compared to her early childhood.  Both used sippy cups like they were going out of style, and sometimes they were filled with milk, like the song says.  Other times it was straight apple juice!  I bet we still have a few of those sippy cups somewhere in our garage amidst pictures, fishing rods, golf clubs, garden tools, childhood clothes, and a couple boxes of pre-packaged firewood leftover from previous winters.

I look forward to getting home every day following work.  Seeing my family, and our pup Lucy and rabbit Sugar, keeps me in touch with human love and God’s love.  Children big and small remind me of the face of God and the presence of God.  The “toddlers” are now 20 and 18, with the younger soon to graduate from high school.  The words, “can barely walk” no longer apply.  Instead she is getting ready to fly!  I say that with a tear in my eye, knowing that she has good roots, she has good wings, and her future is bright. 

Late spring is the usual time for graduation – kindergarten, middle school, high school and college.  Take your pick!  Do you remember your high school graduation?  I hope so.   Probably life was full of promise, dreams, and hopes.  Looking back helps us look forward, if we want to do so.  Are there dreams and hopes from even high school graduation that still keep you hopeful and venturesome?  Are there goals yet to be accomplished?  I would bet so, since life so often entails following unfulfilled dreams and hopes.

For me this June will be very special, as our family blesses our daughter in the rite of passage called high school graduation.  The sound of pitter-patter footsteps can no longer be heard.  Instead, the footsteps are stronger and louder and give evidence of growth, change, and following one’s guided path from the Creator.  Let us all consider the steps and direction of our lives today and the weeks and months ahead.  The future is bright, and hope lights the path into the future. 

Dear Lord, thank you for each person we know who will be graduating soon.  Bless the children, youth, and professionals who are making such significant steps in their lives.  Amen.

-- Chaplain George M. Rossi

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