Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sons & Dads - primary school graduation

We kick off the year with a post written by Husband about a great event he and some other dads ran for their sons at the end of last year:

With Mr 12 reaching the end of primary school (Year 7 in SA), we wanted to celebrate his graduation and passing through this significant rite of passage. Although the school has its usual ceremonies, we were especially keen to mark this important occasion from a Christian perspective. I was particularly challenged by a fantastic book Raising A Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis to make the most of the special opportunities to help boys become men of faith.

Mr 12 has been very fortunate in that he has 6 close Christian friends with whom he has grown up, crossing paths at Christian camps and socially.  And so in August 2015 I asked the Dads if they would be interested in joining us to make a wonderful celebration for our sons.

After we met together to dream and scheme, we came up with the following program for the first Friday after school finished - designed to be both fun and profound:

1. In late November each boy received a formal invitation by mail: 

2. The afternoon began with some fun activities - our initial plan was to play some "Dads vs Sons" sport at the local school (basketball, cricket) - but when a notorious Adelaide heatwave set in we decided that 40 degree heat would not be wise for the health of middle-aged men! So we went bowling and had a great time (for the record the Dads DID win!)

3. We then came back to our place for a swim and a BBQ, and general relaxing (Wendy and Miss 10 & 8 graciously absented themselves for this "men only" event!). After dinner, we had the more "formal" part of the evening, in 3 stages:

i. Each father had brought a baby photo of himself and of his son, and we tried to guess which family was pictured! (in our case, we were the only Asian family, so that made it a bit easier ...)

ii. Each father then spoke for a few minutes on the topic of "why I'm thankful to God for my son", by means of publicly praising and encouraging our own sons in front of their peers.

iii. Each father then spoke for a few minutes to the boys, giving them a piece of advice about the next stage of life connected with a bible passage, and a memento/token to help them remember the advice. They were also given a box to keep all their goodies ... 

4. Finally there was more swimming, relaxing and of course, dessert!

Overall it was a wonderful occasion - it was so encouraging to hear all the dads speak of their thankfulness to God, and to offer similar encouragements (in different words) to our boys about how to stand firm for Jesus. By the time the night had finished our sons were already planning an event for next year ...

Thanks especially to our wives for supporting us!

PS: Mr 12 says: "I thought it was a really great time. It was a great opportunity to learn a lot, and to be encouraged in our faith in Jesus as we go onto high school. I especially liked the goodies we got to keep, which were all really well chosen. Thanks to the dads for organising this! And my Dad has had no influence over what I've just said!"