Some Musing about Tyler’s Graduation

We hit a major milestone this weekend — Tyler received his master’s degree on Monday from Wake Forest. He has a few weeks off, enough time to take care of logistics and for a two week trip to Europe, then he will be starting his career with Aon Hewitt, in Charlotte, North Carolina. So, he has officially flown the coop! He is now a man finding his way in the world, and Karen and I can claim one less dependent, both legally and emotionally.


A chip off the old block… only bigger and smarter. And substantially burlier…

In the days since his graduation, I have spent some time scratching my head a bit, trying to discover how I really feel about this momentous occurrence. I figured if I started writing stuff down, perhaps it would help crystallize my thinking. So, here’s what I came up with…

I guess the main thing I feel is a thrill of excitement for him, tinged perhaps with a tiny bit of jealousy. My first few years out of college were some of the most interesting, rewarding, challenging, and fun years of my life, and I earnestly hope that he has the same experience. And, I know my boy pretty well, and I think he has the right attitudes and inclinations to have a similar experience to the one I had. Although many of our friends think we’re nuts, Karen and I are thrilled that he is starting his career a couple thousand miles away. It will be his world, he will by necessity be completely independent, we will be visitors there, and in my mind that is a great way for it to be.

I also feel a lot of satisfaction about a couple jobs well done. Successfully obtaining a BS and an MA from Wake Forest is a job well done by Tyler. And, when I observe the young man that Tyler has become, I have to give Karen and myself a pat on the back as well. We took parenting very seriously and put a lot of effort into raising our boys, and are very satisfied with the results of our labor – at least the portion that we can claim responsibility for.

Back at the start of the journey...

Back at the start of the journey…

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “pride” as “A feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” So, yes, I definitely feel proud of him for his achievement, and I trust that Tyler feels proud of himself, as well. I will have to say, though, that I am even more proud of him for his good decisions and solid values, and proud of the kind, intelligent, thoughtful, and personable adult man he has become.

6 thoughts on “Some Musing about Tyler’s Graduation

  1. Julie McPartlin

    Congratulations to Tyler, and to you both! Looking forward to celebrating with you later this summer! Your musings are right on; good job! Love to all, Julie and Ken

  2. Ginger Kuenzel

    What a wonderful post. You and Karen should be very proud. As you said, much of it he did himself, but you certainly prepared the soil and got him growing and going. The nutrients and nurturing you provided him gave him the values, thought processes and ambition to grow tall and straight, to flourish and bear valuable fruit, which he will surely continue to do throughout his lifetime. And that fruit will certain nourish and nurture others, just as you and Karen are doing and have done throughout your lives.



  3. Andrew Waldo

    What a lovely reflection, John. While you, Karen and Tyler were at Wake Forest, Mary and I were with son Benjamin in Berkeley also celebrating his Master’s (in Landscape Architecture). What fine young men!


  4. Lisa Beekley Brown

    I think you did a great job of putting to words that great mix of feelings in your heart at your chiid’s graduation (and you will find similar feelings when he marries). You and Karen have done a great job raising both boys and preparing them to launch into the world as prepared, confident adults. I really love this picture of you and Tyler and I know Mom loved it, too. How proud she would have been to be there at that graduation!!

  5. Ying

    By accident in read this and was touched by your writing. I have two young people on the way also. Therefore it is very nice to see this kind of message out there, epecially from someone i worked together for many years. Congratulations John. Happy new year Ying from Germany


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