Our oldest son graduates high school today. I've noticed an increasing number of people who mention the phrase "one down, one to go!" (we have another who is supposed to graduate in three years). What I find amazing about this is that it only means he has graduated high school. Why the celebration?

For starters, there should be no celebration here. Every time we turn around, there is a celebration, from graduating kindergarten to graduating elementary school to graduating junior high (you kids call it middle school these days) to graduating high school to graduating college to graduating more college to getting some other degree. And that's just school.

Then there is turning thirteen, because you know, now you're a teenager. Or a Bar Mitzvah. Unless you're a girl, in which case it's apparently a Bat Mitzvah, and then it's 12. There is the sixteenth birthday, because you can drive - unless you live in North Carolina, because you have to have a permit for a year, plus log a whole bunch of hours, and you probably still can't actually drive. But let's celebrate anyway. And if you have some form of certain ethnicities, you may have a quinceanera in there. Then there is the eighteenth birthday, because you want to be able to vote or die for your country, but you certainly don't want to be able to drink legally. In that case, you have to wait for another three years, and another celebration.

This is to say nothing of all the other little celebrations along the way, like moving out or getting a job. That doesn't seem to be happening much these days.

I get that things are different now, but back in the stone ages, kids had jobs at a much younger point of their life. I was 12 when I had my first job. Heck, I think I had four or five before I could even drive, to say nothing of being 18 and still living at home. By the time I was out of high school, I was expected to be getting on with life. When i didn't, my parents moved across the country and I didn't have a choice.

It's just a different world.

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