Much has been written about the mysteries of aging and time, especially this time of year when high school graduation ceremonies are so prevalent.
When I graduated from high school 28 years ago, inclement weather forced the ceremony indoors at the high school auditorium.
Beyond that, I can’t tell you a thing about the ceremony. In fact, I don’t remember what any of the speakers said that evening, but I’m sure it was inspirational.
And it all happened in the blink of an eye.
This week, my 18-year-old twin sons, Matthias and Graham (affectionally referred to in these columns as Son No. 2 and Son No. 3), will graduate from Oak Grove High School with the Class of 2020.
Of course, in the age of COVID-19, this year’s graduation ceremonies will look very different.
Instead of the traditional ceremony held at Reed Green Coliseum on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi, Oak Grove High’s graduation took place over the course of several days – in 15-minute increments.
Only four (masked) family members were allowed to attend the ceremony, which consisted of a private stroll across the stage to receive their diploma.
A video camera captured the action and when it’s all said and done, the individual videos of all 450+ students will be edited together for posterity sake and delivered electronically to students.
Like most parents, it’s hard for me to believe that those two baby boys pictured above just a day or so after they were born are old enough to be graduating from high school. It’s even harder to think about them heading off to separate colleges this fall.
One brother is attending Mississippi State University. The other, Ole Miss. Their older brother, Bynum, will be a senior at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro and their youngest brother, Sol, will be a junior at Oak Grove High.
When the boys were young, our family received lots of strange looks when we walked into a room.
With four boys under the age of five, every day was an adventure to say the least.
I remember someone telling me once that when you’re raising young children, “the days are long, but the years are short” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s especially true when you’re trying to raise two at a time.
Somehow or another, we managed to survive and looking back now, it all happened in the blink of an eye.
Fortunately, all four of our sons have grown into incredible young men and I’m so very proud to call them my own.
As is often the case, they seemed to have inherited the very best – and worst – traits from their Mother and me.
I hate that they – and the other members of the Class of 2020 – were robbed of normalcy this spring, but something tells me they’ll get plenty of mileage from the story they have to tell to their children about graduating from high school in the age of the coronavirus.
I can hear them now. “It all happened in the blink of an eye..”
Gustafson is the not-so mild-mannered editor and publisher of The PineBelt NEWS. A native of Oklahoma, he graduated from Pryor High School 28 years ago this week.