At your graduation, I won’t be seeing you as you look now. I’ll be seeing a picture of you in my head at about age five ...
Posted in , May 10, 2012
We can’t wait for your graduation from college this weekend. We’re thrilled. You’ll be so busy that day you won’t notice the graying dad muttering prayers of thanks into his program, saying amen, amen, amen.
You’ll have to indulge me a little because sitting in my folding chair, I probably won’t be seeing you as you look now, the handsome, tall, clear-eyed history major. I’ll be seeing a picture of you in my head at about age five. (See below.)
You were just that age, Timo, when on Christmas Day you asked me, full of earnest concern, if Mom and I were really Santa. I figured I shouldn’t lie, so I said yes. Then you decided you didn’t want so much truth-telling. “Daddy, you’re teasing me!” you said.
You were only four when you broke your femur at nursery school and had to be in traction at the hospital for 26 days. What a nightmare. How did we ever get through it? But you were a star patient. That gorgeous spring day you were finally released from the hospital, you exclaimed, “Daddy, look at the trees! Look at the flowers! They’re beautiful!” I don’t think you’ve ever stopped looking at nature with such God-given wonder and awe.
You have given your mother and me such pleasure with your singing voice, whether it’s been a solo at church when you were a boy soprano or more recently, with you leaning into a mike and leading your rock band in your skinny jeans. Sorry if I didn’t get all the words, but maybe it’s just as well.
You have been a champion student at college, learning for the love of it, taking challenging courses because you wanted to expand your mind. Who knew what a scholar you would be?
I love the way you ask hard questions about faith and God and why so many in the world still suffer. But then, you also see yourself as one meant to relieve some of that suffering. Go for it, Tim.
You are a constant lesson in prayer because of how you take delight in the moment, fretting not about the future. You’re like Jesus telling us all to consider the lilies. Just a reminder: Graduation is on Saturday at 10 o’clock. Your family will be there. Please show up.
Timo, when I consider how much I love you and your brother, I’m in awe to think how much God could possibly love us, his children. So take it this way: You’ve got two dads looking out for you, one of us probably a little clumsier at it than the other. But know you’re loved.
And please know that I consider myself especially lucky because I have never for a moment wondered how much you loved me back. Happy graduation!