Stepping Up

This blog post was written by Jannia Brunson-Perez, the director at our JP Revere location and mom of two.

Graduation season started back in May for me when I was privileged enough to witness my nephew graduate from college in upstate New York. I met him when he was just 3 years old and watching him grow has been amazing and I am thankful that my boys have a role model in their cousin. Every year my sister in law and I would drive up in August to drop him off and drive back up in May to bring him back home. Now he would be coming home to decide where he wants his career to go.

It was an amazing experience to witness and I used it to prepare for my own journey with my son. He graduatedJannia Grad 2 high school in the beginning of June. I knew the day would be emotional and joyful. As he walked across the stage to receive his diploma I was beaming with pride.

He did it!!!!

High school was far from easy for him as he chose to enroll in a prep school where he was challenged both academically and personally. At times we all questioned whether that was the place for him but he never gave up and graduated with honors and learned even more life lessons. I thought I would cry through the whole ceremony but I didn’t. The tears fell when he embraced me at the end.

I was so proud of the young man he had become and actually felt a sense of relief. Relief because I know that he now has a foundation to rely on. I know that a high school education is not sufficient these days but he has the tools necessary to get him to the next level. As I prepare this summer to leave him in New York to start his next journey I know that they will be filled with memories that will last a lifetime ending with many more tears as we drive away.

The next graduation was my youngest son’s middle school graduation. It really feels like it was just yesterday I Jannia Grad 1hugged him as I dropped him off in his kindergarten class fighting back the tears so he wouldn’t see them, and then crying in the car all the way to work. Yes, I think with him I have cried at every moment knowing that he was my last. He too will embark on a new journey: high school, being the last one at home, and I am sure many more.

There were more than a few tears shed at his graduation as well, and although they were for a different reason somehow they represent the same thing. The journey they have taken and the one that lies ahead.

But alas that is not my last graduation. Nope at the end of the week we have our annual graduation/moving up ceremony here at Pine Village, and I get to watch my work babies take the stage, sing some songs, and graduate our Pre-K students. What a whirlwind of emotions.

PVP Grad 2014Just as I am proud of my own children I am also proud of the children in my care every day. I have seen them grow, learn, become more independent, learn a new language… I could go on forever. And yes as I did last year, I may shed a tear.

As I reflect, graduations to me are the end of something and the beginning of something else. They are the end of college, high school, middle school, preschool… And the beginning of a new world. To learn new things, experience new things, and see where that journey takes you.

We have our babies for a short time and then we let them go to take on the world, making memories to last a lifetime along the way. Congratulations to all our Pine Village graduates and to the journey that lies ahead.


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