I have now attended 14 graduation ceremonies.
If each one averaged 2.5 hours, I have spent the equivalent of almost a day and a half in these celebratory events. That’s a lot of names announced and speeches heard.
Last weekend marked our youngest son’s completion of university and it gave me great joy to spend an afternoon commemorating four and a half years of his studious effort. It was a meaningful service and the conferring of degrees on 450 graduates went by fairly quickly.
But I had help.
On Friday, a friend who has endured ceremony numbers close to mine gifted me with a bag labeled “Graduation Ceremony Survival Kit.” It contained a Bingo sheet of 25 circles with items like “Somebody Cries,” “Cap Malfunction,” and “Someone Hugs Presenter,” as well as chocolate and simple rules. When one sighted a particular category, you crossed it off and ate a treat.
The gift demanded to be shared.
So I copied the Bingo sheet, added more chocolate to an unmarked gift bag and entered the arena looking like a mother with a grad present in tow. In reality, I supplied my other two sons and daughter-in-law-to-be with gear for the most engaged ceremony to date.
Baby in the row in front of us let out a holler. Marked it with an X and popped a chocolate covered almond. Woman’s cap fell off during processional. Another X; another tasty morsel. And so on. It was such a hit that the stranger next to us asked if he could get in on the game!
I thanked my friend profusely for the fun her thoughtful idea gave us. Sometimes it’s good not to take life too seriously. Our graduate taught me that.
We were, of course, respectful and appreciative of the importance and formal nature of the event AND we entered in with vigor and enjoyment because of the game. Both/And.
And just so you know, no one yelled out BINGO!
With love and gratitude,
In The Midst