This past weekend I stood in line, ticket in hand, waiting to enter the university facility where my two sons would be graduating that morning. It was a cloudy morning with the threat of rain and some drizzle in the air. Random umbrellas popped open now and then among the crowd as moms tried to keep their hairstyles in tact. The line grew longer and the excitement grew stronger as we collectively anticipated the milestone event in our children’s lives we were soon going to observe.
Funny thoughts go through your mind in these uneventful moments before big events. Some of those thoughts tend toward a more serious nature, thoughts one might expect to have. Where has the time gone? I am so proud of my sons. What does the future hold for them? But intermingled with these profound thoughts are other considerations. Will I find a good seat where I can see them? I hope they ironed their graduation gowns. What if it pours down rain before the doors open?
As the wait in line continued and I had time to observe the crowd around me, other random thoughts came to mind. Do I look older or younger than the moms around me? I hope I look younger! I’m not as dressed up as that mom but I am more dressed up than this other mom. I know I don’t look skinny, but do I look fat? What if I have to go to the bathroom before we get into the building?
Before long the doors opened and we slowly moved into the building and found our seats to observe the commencement ceremony for our two sons. The event was everything we had hoped it would be, and we celebrated with hugs, pictures and lots of handshakes when we met up with our boys afterwards. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day.
Standing in line that morning gave me time to consider the mingling of the momentous with the mundane. No matter how significant the day, the ordinary remains. We need to eat for nourishment. We need to rest. We need to relate to the people around us. We need to move on.
In the future, though I don’t know when, I imagine I will stand in line as the mother of the groom, greeting family and friends who have joined us to celebrate a wedding in our family. And sometime in the future, though I hope not soon, I will stand in line to greet guests who have come to remember the life of my husband’s father or mother, both of whom are currently 89 years old. Standing in line reminds me that I have a place; I have a role in the lives of the people I love. And standing in line provides the opportunity to pause and take in the memorable moments of my life, while preparing to move ahead and live out what is next, both the mundane and the magnificent, on this amazing journey called Life