My Dear Graduate…

 Graduation Gifts

It doesn’t matter how many times I walk the aisles, there is no gift good enough. Nothing will tell you how much I love you or how proud I am.

There is nothing to represent the fact that I will never again bring you and your friends sushi before your ball game or listen to you cry late at night when your heart is broken by your first love. There isn’t a mug that says “get up and get it yourself” or “if you stink up my living room with your farts one more time, you’ll be sleeping outside”.

The frames and albums can’t hold your laughter. They can’t take you on vacation, watch you slobber your food or puke fruit loops all over my floor.

When I look at you, I can’t seem to find the words to tell you all the things that are in my heart. No gift I wouldn’t buy.

But I am buying you tires; because you need them.

It’s not such a bad gift.

Tires are the foundation for your ride. As you drive off, there are a few things you should know:

Stop at every intersection – they aren’t there randomly. They are there so you can make a conscious choice, look around and see where each road leads. Pick the one that takes you where you want to go.

Drive slowly – if you drive too fast, you may miss a turn, a sign or a thing of beauty.

Pay attention – hitting the curb may seem insignificant, but the more you hit, the more chance for damage.

Get a map – sometimes it’s better to have a plan than to hope for the best. It’s not always possible to go back to where you started.

Don’t give rides to everyone that needs one – it’s okay to keep going, some people aren’t going in your direction. You don’t have to take a detour for them. Someone else will come along and pick them up.

Drive responsibly – should you be behind the wheel? Think about whether or not now is the time to go. Before you drive off, be sure you have purpose, a direction and a clear head.

Accept the speed bumps – you can’t predict everything, sometimes you will bottom out. Learn from it and drive more carefully next time.

Don’t flip off the other drivers – Be thoughtful with your words and your gestures, be mindful of where they are coming from and what they can do.

Maintain your vehicle – you’ll need to refuel from time to time. Check for warning signs. Your vehicle is what will drive you through life. Take good care of it.

Get new tires – It’s okay, these are just to get you going. The tires are your foundation. They are what will carry you to your destination. Get flashy ones, rims, or something simple. From now on, the choice is yours. Choose wisely and well.

Teach someone else how to drive – If there is one thing I hope I taught you; it’s that you don’t have to be someone’s parent to help them learn to drive. Share your love and your knowledge, sit in the passenger seat when you need to.

Program your GPS – no matter where you are, we are always here. You can come home any time you like.

Drive carefully, make your ride the greatest ride ever. No matter where your tires lead you, I hope that when the road runs out you can truly say you enjoyed your ride.



  1. says

    I would love new tires as a gift. Your list kept sounding like great relationship advice too: Be thoughtful with your words and your gestures, be mindful of where they are coming from and what they can do. You’ll need to refuel from time to time. Absolutely loved my visit.

    • Karen says

      Well, if you hang out with me long enough, I may come to love you enough to buy you some!! Good point on the relationship advice, this would work for that!

  2. says

    You know, I shouldn’t laugh about the advice to not flip off other drivers, because it’s good advice. It just makes me remember a really really really old man who circled around a parking lot once, rolled down his window, leaned over and flipped me off. I shouldn’t have laughed, but I still laugh when I think about it.


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