My dad sent me this picture, packed in an enormous box with floor liners for my car. It's the presentation of my National Merit Scholarship from Raytheon, the company he worked for after retiring from the U.S. Army. The hair, the clothes, my teeny tiny waist--can you hear 1984 calling?
More importantly, can you see the joy in my parents' faces, the grin under my father's mustache, my mother's smiling cheeks? This moment solidified the fact that I was going to college, an opportunity that eluded them and the generations before them. I was the first. My brother joined the U.S. Air Force, and has since accumulated even more degrees.
Our successful, non-college-educated parents produced two college-educated children; my niece will be the third grandchild following that path as she heads to college next year.
I received a picture last night from my son, my baby, who will be graduating this coming May. The coincidence of both of these photos arriving in the same week brought a smile to my face. One just beginning college, the other getting ready to graduate. Fine bookends, indeed.