Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance VS. The Wedding March

This article originally appeared on The Chicago Moms

This morning, it happened again: hoping to get the students at the high school where I teach excited about working hard towards graduation, the teacher/presenters at an assembly blasted Pomp and Circumstances. Tears welled up in my eyes. Pomp and Circumstance always manages to make me emotional.

Every other year or so, on graduation day, I have to announce the names of the students in my homeroom. As I proudly and carefully read their full names and watch them walk up to receive their diplomas, I always have to try my best to gulp down those happy tears. I have to completely avoid looking out into the audience, at their hopeful, happy parents if I plan on reading all the names clearly and distinctly.

So if graduation day for my students makes me emotional – what am I going to do when it comes down to the graduation days of my own kids?!?!

Some moms dream of the day that their daughter marries. They dream of the day when she’ll be dressed up as a princess in her white wedding dress, when she walks down the aisle to the wedding march, a bouquet of flowers in hand.

I dream of the day when my daughter walks down the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance at her college graduation. I will be the bawling mom in the audience. We will have the biggest party ever or I will take her on a trip to the destination of her dreams – maybe even both. When and if she is conferred her PhD? I will spend more on her outfit that day than on a wedding dress. I will be delighted to save up every penny, nickel and dime, enough to take my daughter to Chanel for the most beautiful dress or suit ever. (The same goes for my son, too. And he’s already chosen his dream destination, Australia, so I’d better start saving!).

Don’t get me wrong: I love fancy weddings! And should my daughter choose to have one, I’ll help her plan a day to remember down to the very last detail. Just as well, should she forgoe college to choose a career path that meets her dreams and doesn’t require extensive education – we’ll find a way to celebrate that, too.

Just take a look at latest cover of any celebrity magazine: Our country celebrates over-the-top weddings and glamourizes women who have done little more than meet a guy and make some arrangments. We need to tone done the celebrating women for their manufactured wedding days, and focus more on celebrating women for their achievements.

On her wedding day, I will be over-the-moon happy for my daughter. On her graduation day, I will be over-the-moon proud of her. She’s still my baby girl so I’ve got lots of time before either big date, but for now, I want her to always know that I value her education and her dreams more than anything.

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