can be made without sacrificing who we are.

It is impossible to withhold education from the receptive mind, as it is impossible to force it upon the unreasoning. ~ Agnes Repplier

in front of family members.

Which I may have done yesterday, with my “little black dress.”

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. ~ JAMES BALDWIN

It is with great pride

Anthony & Sheila Metcalf

Announce the commencement

of their son

Steven Ross Metcalf

and the Valley View High School

Class of 2009

Sunday the 31st day of May 2009

At 3 o’clock in the afternoon

The Schuster Center

110 North Ludlow St

Dayton, Ohio 45042

While attending a local high school graduation ceremony recently, the role parents play in the lives of their children came into sharp focus. It was a truly defining moment, one that I shall not soon forget.

Following the principle’s opening words of welcome; the students that had received scholarships spoke briefly. One common denominator united them: They thanked their parents for “all the love,” “for all the encouragement,” “for always being there,” “for the great example,” “for setting high standards for yourselves and me,” “for being an awesome role model.”  Applause followed each as he or she stepped off the stage.

The last person to speak was the class valedictorian. She took the microphone in her hand, looked across the sea of faces in the packed auditorium, and then asked, “Mom and Dad, where are you?” Scanning the crowd, but not finding them, she repeated her question, “Where are you, Mom and Dad?”

Two people stood up. Their daughter, beaming said, “Audience, I would like to introduce you to my parents. I have asked them to stand along with me because I would not be up here today if it had not been for them. And now I would like everyone to give them a big round of applause because they are the ones who deserve it more than I.” And applaud they did – with such vivacity that it seemed as if the noble efforts of parents everywhere were being honored.

Parenting. This most scared duty cannot be understated. Of this I am convinced: the firm foundation of a parent’s deeply rooted commitment to his or her children may also be the springboard that launches those children to new heights. The effort to teach our young all that is good and true and worthy will bear fruit in season as surely as New England cherry trees open beneath the May sunlight. The growth within our children’s souls – the product of our abiding presence and tender care – will come to bloom before us as we stand looking on in appreciation, and perhaps awe.

Maybe we, too, will hear the applause someday.


Making the decision to have a child – it’s monentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~ ELIZABETH STONE

that you don’t sit down to at least one meal a day together.

When we forget the obvious, the little joys, the meals together, the birthday celebrations, the weeping together in time of pain, the wonder of a sunset or of a daffodil peeping through the snow, we become less human. ~ MADELEINE L’ ENGLE

how terrific they are and that you trust them.

To feel loved, to belong, to have a place and to hear one’s dignity and worth often affirmed – these are to the soul what food is to the body.  ~ ANNE ORTLUND