For Easter, I bought Skipper the book, The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado. If you have not heard of it, think Dr. Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go in terms of it written as a growing up story, a life of possibility story, with the difference in that Max Lucado brings God into the picture. And, not only is God there, but that we all have very specific tasks set out for us by God. My oldest son really enjoys this book. It is one of his favorites. While it is written for the 5-10 year old in mind, it really could be the kind of book you give to a graduate - a simple reminder that we all have that somebody we were meant to be.
In the book, a little acorn must leave his mother. She tells him not to worry, that this is what he must do, and to trust that God made him to be the tree he is. So he falls and finds himself in a truck alongside a little orange tree. Eventually the acorn grows into a little oak, but tries to be an orange tree, and then flowers, and so forth, until one day he realizes that a great big oak is what God designed for him all along. A little girl comes into the story too and we see her grow up, wonder at leaving her own home, and eventually leaving, after finding comfort and knowledge that a little acorn grows into a great oak.
It is a very sweet story, but for me, I most love the author's little note to parents at the beginning. I will copy it below, and I sure hope this isn't against copyright or anything, as I just love what he has to say!
God prewired your infant. He scripted your toddler's strengths. He set your teen on a trajectory. God gave you an eighteen-year research project. Ask yourself, your spouse, and your friends: What sets this child apart? Childhood tendencies forecast adult abilities. Read them. Discern them. Affirm them. Cheerlead them.
You've been a book with no title - read it! A CD with no cover - listen to it! An island with no owner - explore it! Resist the urge to label before you study. Attend carefully to the unique childhood of your child.
Uncommon are the parents who attempt to learn these God-given abilities - and blessed are their children.
Blessings, Max Lucado