Our son, Ben, graduated from the West Point Prep School last weekend (USMAPS).
Being the practical mom that I am, I am inclined to hop in the car with the Captain for a simple trip where just the two of us run up to attend the festivities and bring him home. But, as his nickname implies, Captain Fun wanted to take the crew along. (Family fun would be scarce without him, I know.)
We took all who were available and could afford to miss a few days of school--the four youngest kids and Grandma. (Mom Dot, by the way, is part of that Greatest Generation, and busting her buttons over having two grandsons at West Point.)
Once we finally get in the car, I'm always glad when we bring the kids, grateful they will have the memory of this amazing place. Every American needs to experience the USMA. Honestly, like no where else I've visited, the campus of West Point kind of puts me in a trance.
It. Is. Awesome.
I have been pondering just exactly why it affects me this way. Maybe it is the history of those halls, or those stoic, gray halls themselves ("Is this a castle?" Hope kept asking.)
Maybe it's the Hudson that flows steadily, dependably alongside the campus. Perhaps the pomp and circumstance that accompanies any West Point ceremony. The ball, for instance, that preempted the dinner was grand. What's more, Ben said the invocation just as his brother had done four years ago. It warms a mother's heart.
LTG (R) Thomas F. Metz ('71) delivered what I believe was the best live speech I have ever heard. The entire speech was captivating, but it was his last points that have stuck with me:
Scan. Focus. Act.
He was addressing future soldiers, of course, but he did exhort the rest of us that these three words were applicable in any circumstance, any line of work.
Indeed. As moms, it summed up what we do every day. It put a name to it, which somehow energized me for the remaining mission ahead. A mission I have already been on for 28 years, yet a mission I know I will continue indefinitely.
No matter the reason I go--A Day, R Day, Parent Weekend or graduation--West Point always moves me. The flags wave, the music plays, I grow nostalgic and wish I could call my parents and have a lengthy conversation about them having two grandsons at West Point. I know they, too, would bust their buttons. (And I know they see them, but I want to see them seeing them.)
Then it comes like a flood--the inspiration. The moment I remember that, it is all from God's hand, simply because of His goodness in hearing the prayer of a nine year old girl (that was me) who wanted to have "a bunch of kids and a Christian family". *
Even though I am only half way through this parenting journey, He has already done "more than I could ask or think" just like Ephesians 3:20 promises. And, as my good friend in NY used to say, I know it's all God.
All because of His goodness and all for His glory.
"Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning." James 1:16-17
*For the whole story, see my earlier blog