It was official back in December. Family Man finished his college classes and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, emphasis in Studio Art, from Humboldt State University. Today was the graduation ceremony.

wide shot of the field including graduates, audience in bleachers, big redwood trees in the background

There was a lot of excitement and energy in the air. The clouds cleared and the sun came out. Family Man’s name was called and he strode smiling across the stage to shake hands with President Rollin Richmond.

Family Man shaking Rollin Richmonds hand

Family Man coming down from the stage through the crowd of graduates

And then we waited patiently. And then not so patiently as many more names were read and hands were shaken. After Family Man had his moment, me and the boys came down from the bleachers and sat on the turf in the back of the field. Well, I sat. Brother and Young Son played tag, then wrestled. They stopped for a drink of water, then wrestled more, then invented and played hide-and-seek-crowd-tag. Thankfully, there were a lot of restless people, and no one minded their boisterousness.

Young Son and Brother sitting on the plastic turf grass and grinning

I made them stop long enough to pose for a picture. I always make everyone stop to pose for a picture, because if I didn’t, you know, they wouldn’t.

Young Son and Brother smiling with Family Man after the ceremony

Check out that expression on Brother’s face. Does he realize he is the reason that his Dad left college nine years ago, setting the stage to return and finally walk in the graduation ceremony today? Nope, he’s not thinking that at all, he’s thinking, ‘Man, I’m glad this is finally over and we can get out of here as soon as Mom stops taking our picture.’

Beautiful Day Mama smiling with Family Man after the ceremony

I am so proud of Family Man. It was not easy to go back to school and keep working at the same time, to do well at both, and be a present and loving father and husband. I know that. But he made it look easy, because he is just that awesome. That diploma was a big accomplishment. He earned it and today we celebrated!