“Are you awake, Charlotte?” He said softly.
“Yes,” came the answer.
“What is that nifty little thing? Did you make it?”
“I did indeed,” replied Charlotte in a weak voice.
“Is it a plaything?”
“Plaything? I should say not. It is my egg sac, my magnum opus.”
“I don’t know what a magnum opus is,” said Wilbur.
“That’s Latin,” explained Charlotte. “It means ‘great work.’ This egg sac is my great work - the finest thing I have ever made.” From Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
This is my magnum opus (one of two, actually). He’s turning eighteen this week and graduating in the next couple. I knew from the time I first read Charlotte’s Web that someday I would have boys and we would live on a farm together. I also knew that one of those boys would be named Blaze after the pony in C.W. Anderson’s series, Billy and Blaze. But that’s another story. My boy, named after a pony, is all grown up.
When our boys were younger we made habitats to learn about life cycles. We caught tadpoles, hatched chicks, and collected striped monarch caterpillars and placed them in a butterfly habitat with milkweed to feed them. We watched them consume leaves and build their chrysalis. Their metamorphosis was amazing. As the tiny openings first appeared in the cocoons I had to remind the boys that we were not to assist in their emergence. Their struggle through that small opening was a necessary part of the life cycle. After several hours of watching the butterflies trying to free themselves the temptation to assist was overwhelming. However, we knew that the restriction of the cocoon and struggle were part of God’s plan to force fluids from the butterfly’s body into its wings. Without this struggle the wings would remain shriveled and the butterfly could never take flight.
You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your eyes. -Walter Schirra, Sr.
From the very first time I held this baby in my arms I knew his potential was limitless. For what it’s worth, upon his graduation, I offered him the advice;
-You have nothing to prove
-Life’s joy is in the journey
-A tattoo is permanent. Age and gravity will take its toll
-Decisions made by an eighteen year old, with no life experience, should not define you at ages 28, 38, 48…etc
-Search for new ideas. Let your mind play. Be creative.
-There is no such thing as an overnight success
-Find happiness outside of success or failure
-Life is full of detours; enjoy the scenery
-When credit card offers arrive throw them away. Nothing is free.
-No one can achieved independence while they have debt
-Find what you want for yourself and life will be full of passion and fulfillment
-A job title and salary do not measure human worth
-Create a life that reflects your values and feeds your soul
-“Abandoning” a career to raise a family is an investment in the future. Take pride in what you have created
-Our actions define us. Each decision you make tells the world who you are
-You are capable of more than you think
I would also offer an additional piece of advice; show gratitude. Your family, pastor, teachers, counselors, coaches, and administrators have made your success their priority. They have set high standards and goals for you to achieve and have expected you to represent yourself, your family, school, and community with pride.
Your achievements are the result of exceptional efforts made by you and made on your behalf. As your new journey commences remember who you are and in whose image you have been created. You are the crowning glory of all who love you and have invested in you.
And so, my magnum opus- you have struggled, emerged, and succeeded. You are capable and prepared; Your wings are strong. You’re ready. Take flight!
©Glenda Plozay, Forest Hill Farm Products,LLC