Pompous and Circumstantial

This month I'

This month I’ll join with thousands of proud fathers across the country in celebrating our children’s college graduation, a major milestone in a journey that will be marked by opportunities, challenges, and, hopefully, the ability to pay for their own food.

It will be an emotional event, one that my family has insisted must not be marred by me muttering "one down, one to go" as I sit in the audience. I’ll have enough on my mind anyway, because my feet will be soaking wet from slushy sidewalks typical of your picturesque upstate New York college towns in late May. Contrary to weather systems in other regions, these towns have only three seasons:

  • summer
  • winter
  • pneumonia

The proud grandparents will be there, as well as sundry relatives, including my wife’s in-laws, a rowdy bunch of Republicans with whom I’m often accused of turning every gathering into a political free-for-all. I deny this, just as the Bush administration denies its shameless gutting of environmental protections, a fact I’ll be sure to point out just before the "pomp" or slightly after the "circumstance."

Our daughter has worked hard for this moment, tackling her studies with an intensity that can only come from trying to get everything done before the spring formal. She wrote her papers, made the grades, and, with her new degree in French and International Relations, she’ll soon be ready to tackle any challenge the food service industry can throw at her.

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Sojourners Magazine June 2005
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