What's it like being a dad??
Imagine you are going on a camping / hiking / fishing / GeoCaching trip and you budget a little "tackle fund" to grab some new stuff for yourself.
On the day you are going to run to the store, you decide to take along your youngest. Suddenly, you remember that she still doesn't have any fishng tackle of her own, and that you and her mother have been talking about doing so for the past couple of years.
Being a dad means that you end up buying yourself the bare minimum from your list, and that the rest is spend on your daughter.
Her pile on the left, mine on the right.
A few weeks back, #3 of 5 graduated high school!
In all likelihood, this post will be very similar to last year’s Graduation 2014 - #2 of 5 (that’s what happens when you have back to back children as we did with #2 of 5 and #3 of 5) – and not all that different from Graduation 2007 – #1 of 5 for that matter…
Yet, it’s still a noteworthy event, and a transition for one of our children, for us as parents, and for our family as a whole.
And we could not be prouder!
First, a little background on #3 of 5.
#3 of 5 is our middle child. He is also our youngest son. He was and always will be my “little man”. #1 of 5 and #2 of 5 were quite attached to their mom. As a result, #3 of 5 often spent a lot of time with me.
I liked this. A lot.
#3 of 5 attended St. John the Baptist School from Kindergarten through sixth grade (including two years of “Wee-Angels” preschool), then attended Jordan Middle School for seventh and eighth grade. He moved on and completed his secondary education at Jordan High School for ninth through twelfth grades. He is enrolled, and begins his post-secondary education at Hennepin Technical College in the Fall. He is enrolling in the HVAC two year Degree program! I could not be more excited or proud of his choice! Quite literally – I am a little jealous and eager to hear what he is learning – and maybe learn a little from him along the way!
#3 of 5 often reminds me of the Tortoise in the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. He is not as outgoing (aka “theatrical”) as his brother, but don’t let that fool you. He can be and quite often is very determined. He sees what he wants, or knows what he is supposed to do and just keeps working towards that goal quietly and steadfastly. There is little “glitz and glam” about him. I am proud of his quiet, stoic and productive nature. I have also been told by numerous sources (many which knew me at his age) that of all the kids, he reminds them of me at that age – in looks and in mannerisms. This, I also like!
Be sure to visit #3 of 5’s dedicated page here on FOF. You will be certain to find out a lot more about this fine young man (well, once I get the page complete. It’s still “under construction”)
Like last year, St. John the Baptist Church’s Graduation send off mass was held prior to the graduation ceremony.
The send off mass is the regularly scheduled Saturday evening mass (the time coincides well with the graduation ceremony), where graduating seniors join the entry procession, receive a special blessing by the congregation, follow the exit procession, and are provided a light lunch after mass in Louis Hall (the Church basement and kitchen area).
One other special thing St. John’s does for the graduation mass is to break out the class’s First Communion Alter Cloth.
The Alter Cloth is a quilt of “squares” made by these students as a project for their First Communion. Each student is to use felt, cloth, fabric paint, and the like to craft an image related to first communion. Then, each of the quilt squares are sewn together to make the Alter Cloth.
This Alter Cloth is used on their First Communion (in second grade), their graduation from St. John’s (in sixth grade), their Confirmation (in tenth grade) and their high school graduation send off mass (in twelfth grade).
Here is a collection of photos taken with #3 of 5 and his First Communion Quilt Square throughout the years!
The mass was held by Fr. Timothy Yanta (our beloved Parish Priest) which was followed by the enjoyable Luncheon in Louis Hall. The idea of the luncheon is perfect (and I could not be more grateful for the Church doing it). There is only a short window of time between the end of the mass and the beginning of the graduation ceremony. Trying to coordinate a meal for our family between the two would have been difficult (at best). The ladies of the church did a GREAT job, and lunch was delicious! Their meal went a long way towards us being able to enjoy the graduation without the distraction of hunger!
With all the festivities at St. John’s complete, it was time to head to the High School and get this kid graduated!
The ceremony itself was very nice. The festivities kicked off with the VFW holding a “posting of the colors” (displaying the United States flag) ceremony. This was followed with the opening remarks and a congratulatory address.
Both the band and the choir preformed throughout the ceremony. (There was one choir member who seemed particularly happy!)
Throughout the ceremony, numerous students were called out for many wonderful achievements! Honors, High Honors, Special Athletic achievements, and even a couple of Eagle Scouts were honored. Those joining the military service were honored too. Once the notable achievements were acknowledged the moment finally arrived. The graduates were called out one by one.
#3 of 5’s name was called, and he began his walk to the podium to receive his diploma.
There is a video of the moment as well.
(If you listen closely, you will hear an enthusiastic choir member share her “exuberance” for #3 of 5.)
Soon thereafter, the end of the list of graduates was reached.
The ceremony wrapped up and the newly graduated Seniors processed out.
There were many smiles!
The gathering area was quite crowded, but we were able to find a less chaotic corner for a post-graduation photo session. – Just as we did last year!
The Mother of Five and I could not have been prouder of our youngest son on this, his special day! He has come a long way, has overcome many obstacles and has accomplished many great things! He has a great plan in place, and is heading down the road to success and happiness!
The ceremony was over.
#3 of 5 turned his gown in. He received his “official” diploma (they hand out blank display books and the graduates get their diploma once the gown is turned in). #3 of 5 choose not to attend the all night party, but had been (inadvertently) scheduled for work. His employer understood the importance of the date and gave him an “open ended” start time – so after graduation, #3 of 5 wrapped up his special day by working an overnight shift.
Oh, and would you look at that!
This young lady giving #3 of 5 a big hug just so happens to be wearing a choir uniform.
Hmmm… I wonder if SHE knows who the exuberant choir member who cheered on #3 of 5 with such enthusiasm could be?!?!
I bet she has a good idea!
As a BONUS to this year’s graduation celebration, we were fortunate enough to celebrate #2 of 5’s girlfriend’s graduation too! She and #3 of 5 were in the same graduating class!
If you remember last year’s post about #2 of 5’s graduation – you will recall that #2 of 5 reserved the third flower from his graduation bouquet for someone very special. The young lady pictured here (with her permission) is the one and only “flower recipient”! The tables have turned, the graduate becomes the observer and the observer becomes the graduate!
Since this is also her first “official” introduction here on FOF - I am considering giving her the moniker of
“#2.5 of 5” for all things Father of Five!
Congratulations #2.5 of 5!!
Just like last year, I have another follow up post to this one – it’s become a bit of a family tradition.
I will update THIS LINK once the post is complete.