My son Matthew graduates in 3 short days. We have tried to give some thought to all the advice we wanted to give him as he starts a new part of his life. Matthew's name means "A Gift From God" and he has truly been one! He has kept me and God tight in prayer since the name he was born!. I say this not as a joke, but in truth. My son walked at 9 months old and has been way ahead of his age since. He always did those first things way ahead of the baby book. Matthew goes through life at the rate of speed. A little ADD, but extremely smart. So he keeps you on your toes. His favorite words were I need and I can do it, and he does! We are so proud of Matthew, he has decide he wants to go into the Air force, he wants to sail through the clouds and be as close to God as he can. It is really hard to let go, because I know he will be the one never in fear to be the one to get it done before everyone else. Inprayer I ask God to send Matthew a guardian angle that doesn't get tired, and loves adventure. As Matthew walks across the stage Wednesday we hand over the right of passage from childhood to manhood. He has been begging for this since he was 12!! We give him our love and respect and our prayers. For we have preached, taught and parented for 18 years and we know that God has big plans for Matthew, and we must stand back and let Matthew spread his wings. Time has tried to prepare us for this time, and It is very hard. My loving and verywise mom told me before she died to love my kids with all my heart, protect them and prepare them for life, and make sure God was 1st in the child's life and no matter where they go in life they will come back to you. We have loved Matthew though good times and teen times and stood our ground and never looked back,even when he was so mad at us he could have self exploded! So many times he has felt we were holding him back, and the girlfriends that quickly became over us in time and love, yet we held our ground and prayed. We feel he is ready for the world and know that God is right beside him, our only advice is to make sure God is 1st in all he does and he will go far. So as graduation day approaches we want Matthew to know that we love him, and we are behind him in all that he does. Our advice always make sure you are pleasing God and never let anyone get in the way of what God has planned for you, just make sure it is Gods will and you will go far. We want him to meet his dreams, but caution that sometimes we want what God does not want us to have, and we must be patient. Because in time you will look back and see why God does say no for a reason. As parents we had to say no , and we were not his best friend at times. Sometimes he hated us, because we held our ground, but we did this in love! Not just being mean. So the time has come, Matthew you are about to cross over into new adventures, with it comes responsibility, always remember to trust God in all you do and you will go far. Enjoy and learn all you can, and remember we will always be here when you need us. Our love for you will never die, and yes we made it though high school!! Love and best wishes CONGRATULATIONS!!!!