Wednesday, February 17, 2016

When two sons graduate from college -- on the same day

Taylor (left) & Ethan (right) back in their youth
It was a couple of months ago that we got some news that threw us for a loop. It was unexpected and came from out of nowhere. It was kind of a shock really. No, Julie didn't find out she was pregnant again. We figured out that the college graduations for Taylor and Ethan are on the exact same day.

I checked and rechecked and then checked again and came to the same troubling conclusion: Berea College, where Taylor attends, is holding its graduation on May 8. Hampden-Sydney College, where Ethan attends, is holding its graduation on May 8. What are the odds?

We figured this out when Julie and I started talking about attending our sons' college graduations and looking into planning for them. Before learning they were on the same day I had been looking forward to spending time with Julie together in a big moment in our sons' lives. And then this.

Some quick research shows that the two colleges, one in Farmville, Va., and the other in Berea, Ky., are 460 miles apart. Not nearly close enough for any possibility of squeezing them both in on the same day if they were holding their graduations at different times. Unless I can perhaps charter a Learjet to make that happen ... I wonder what that costs.

Playing ball together in Prineville, Ore., back in the mid-1990s
So now we're trying to figure out what to do. We think one of us will go to one graduation and one of us will go to the other. Divide and conquer, I guess you'd say. We're not really sure. I hate that we have to decide.

I've offered to go to Taylor's since it's a much longer drive -- about 9 hours to Berea compared to the 2 1/2 hours or less to Farmville. But I've also gotten to know some of Ethan's friends and even some of his professors over the years and it would be fun to be at his graduation. But there's also people we've come to know in Berea and it would be fun to see them as well, plus Taylor is married now and his lovely bride Bethany is graduating with him. So there's that bonus of seeing the two of them together on a very big day and spending precious time with them.

Life is just complicated! You know! I'm thinking of making it a rule in the Sabo house that if you go to college you have to be sure to stagger your graduations. Does that sound like a good rule? I can see some eye rolls already when I try and implement that.

I definitely am thinking ahead on this because even as we have two sons preparing to leave their college years behind, I have two daughters preparing to enter college next fall. Just like this year, we'll have three Sabo kids in college. Which is fine. Just as long as a few years down the road they don't graduate on the same day.

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