Last Friday was Rebecca’s Graduation Day. After three years of hard work, studying for a Business with Marketing degree at Brighton University while looking after two children, this was the day when it we celebrated the fact it was worth it.
The ceremony took place at The Dome and was due to start at 10 am. Rebecca’s father and I were there, along with the grandchildren. But although it happens far more often these days, universities are slow to acknowledge their mature students may need more than a couple of tickets for parents. So we agreed to sit the children on our knees for the duration. As the seats weren’t allocated and we wanted to be situated where everyone could get a good view of Rebecca on the stage, we were sitting down by 9.30 am in our best bib and tucker.
In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t know the ceremony would continue until well after 12.30 pm. It could have been a nightmare. The seats in The Dome are closely jammed together without much legroom, but the grandchildren, aged 10 and 5 respectively, were heroically well behaved. They sat quietly and attentively throughout, clapping other people and remaining engaged with the whole procedure, which inevitably, included a fair number of long speeches and a never-ending procession of gowned students marching across the stage to shake the Chancellor’s hand and pick up their certificates. Though they did jump up to cheer and clap their mum as she walked across the stage.
She has done so very well, getting impressively high marks that has netted her a first class degree. We went for meal afterwards to celebrate her achievement, then the grandchildren and I caught the train home. Despite being on a crowded train where they both had to stand for part of the journey, their behaviour, as ever, was marvellous, finally arriving home at around 5.30 pm.
It’s never easy studying when you have children – as I know only too well. But for Rebecca to get the outstanding result she achieved, while also bringing up two such delightful, well behaved children speaks volumes for her, and of course, for my lovely granddaughter and grandson…