Family Moab

Family Moab
In Arches National Park

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Abracadabra...We Have a Graduate!

 " 'Abracadabra' is actually from the Aramaic (before Hebrew) phrase "Avra kehdabra" which means literally 'I will create as I speak.' " - Medium

On Friday, Daniel's Literature teacher said kind words about him on stage and then the principal of his small high school shook his hand, handed over a diploma and moved his tassel to the "graduated" side of the cap.  Our family cheered loudly, William's bellowed "Atta kid!" bringing a smile to Daniel's face as he posed for the final graduation photo.

Our third high school graduation brought familiar feelings of joy and pride and gratitude for the teachers and tutors who helped our son along the way, and also an unfamiliar sense of surprise and delight. Far from assuming that this graduation was inevitable, I had many low moments in the past 16 years when I doubted the possibility. In tough times my thoughts and vision would drift forward; I would "play the movie" about Daniel's future, and the tape would lapse, blunt cut ends flapping in my mind.

With its time management, peer pressure, sophisticated topics and group interactions, high school can lay a minefield at the feet of it's initiates. When students layer in emotional and learning challenges, high obstacles loom over the mined ground and a path forward seems impossible. But speaking expectations aloud, "You are smart, you will graduate, we just need to find the right place" helped fuel our collective belief and determination to move Daniel forward.

When I heard Kerri Walsh Jennings say on a podcast that her favorite word is "abracadabra" because it means "I create as I speak" I stopped my walk and replayed it.  We all know that words are powerful and that our brain believes what we tell them, but this "I create as I speak" mantra jolted me into a higher plane of awareness.  Daniel and I went to many classes together and as we drove to and fro, we worked to speak positively about his potential, his ability to do good things, graduate, go to college. And, well - to oversimplify - it worked! 

(It's interesting, too, how familiar the Aramaic spelling is to Avada Kedabra in Harry Potter, which actually means "I kill as I speak" but that's a post for another time.)

I believe more in the power of speech than I ever have and I am trying to watch my words and how I speak about my own difficulties and opportunities, as well as those things confronting my husband and my children. Our brains believe what we tell them and the more I say good things, the more good I can create.