My middle son has graduated from high school.
I worried incessantly for two and a half years that he wouldn’t be able to claim this rite of passage as his own.
But dang it if this kid hasn’t given me a run for my money every day, and if there’s a monkey wrench to be thrown in any plan……guaranteed , he’s the one who chucked it.
Here’s the interesting course of events that lead up to that all important day…….
4 weeks before graduation we had many discussions……usually with raised voices and tears (mine) about how his grades were progressing. Had each teacher updated their grades online and if not, why not and what were they? And when they were, why were they so low?! ( he always had a reason of course )
“You will graduate!!!! AND, you will do this..not for you, but for me!!!”
Yes, I was a tad screamy.
“Mom,” he’d say, genuinely perturbed and deadpan,”I’m on top of it I promise.”
3 weeks until graduation with an optimistic attitude, I asked him of he wanted to attend ‘Grad Night’.
“We need to buy you a ticket if you want to go. It’s $125 so you really should make up your mind so I can make sure I have the money.”
“I’m not sure, Mom. I don’t know if all my friends are going.”
2 days later: I asked again. No confirmation either way. I gave up
2 weeks left of the actual school year, but this was the last week for seniors. The very last 5 days of high school and time to take their final exams. If I were a nail biter I’d have chomped off my fingers at this point. Everyday I asked how things went and did he feel confident that he knew all of the material on all of his finals.
“Yeah,” he assured me,”pretty much.”
Not quite the answer I wanted to hear….
There was no room for a failed test.
“Mom, all you said I had to do was pass my classes…….. well, a D is passing.”
Great, glad to see you’re giving it your best effort.
Graduation week….practice for the ceremony and other random senior activities. Yes! He’s gonna graduate and “walk” in the festivities! Hallelujah!
Family members would be coming over for the celebratory dinner so I asked what he’d like.
” You know what would be really cool, Mom? Taco Bell set up in chafing dishes.”
Alrighty then. You got it.
Monday: I asked him what he wanted wear for graduation?
“Mom, we’ll figure this out later.”
Tuesday: Again I asked him what he wanted to wear as these 2 days were the only ones that I had time.
“Mom, stop being such a girl, it’s no big deal.”
I washed all the appropriate clothing but we hadn’t shopped for anything new…….if needed anything he’d be S O L.
Thursday. Graduation day: I’d gotten up early because I had a lot to get done before 11:30 a.m. I’d organized my schedule ahead so there’d be plenty of time to get ready without rushing.
Protocol for spectators at the graduation: Gates open 1 hour before the ceremony, but if you want a decent seat you really need to stake out in front of the school a few hours ahead to save spots for family members. It’s kind of like going to a concert except with a lot less music and no cocktails.
C was still sleeping at 8:00. I needed to ask him a question to which he responded with, “Mom, if I’m gonna be up all night I need to sleep!”
Excuse me? “Why are you going to be up all night?”
“I’m going to Grad night, but yesterday was the last day to buy tickets so you need to call the principal.” Um, what?
My hair was literally on fire. Didn’t I try to get this done weeks ago? WHATEVER. I was relieved to know where he’d be all night……locked in the gym at school.
I made a few phone calls explaining that my kid has finally decided he’d like to attend Grad night and who did I need to speak to in order to get him on the list for the event. I was told he should be able to attend ( if the chairperson who was in charge of the goodie bags could be reached ) and all I needed to do is download the permission slip and have him bring it with him. And $125. Cash. Oookaaay…..
Frick. I already knew the the printer was out of ink. It was suggested that I check my sister-in-law’s computer and maybe it might work. Waste ‘O time. I decided to cut to the chase and go buy ink at Staple’s. Not on my list and way out of my way.
I raced out of the house to make the first of 3 stops and forgot my phone. I raced back to the house to get it. I was still waiting for the positive ‘yes’ on the Grad Night thing and C called from the living room, “Can I get new shoes?”
New shoes? Dude.
I couldn’t even speak. I left without responding.
I finished my errands, wrestled the ink into the printer, printed out said permission slip, signed it, attached the cash, and to headed to the bathroom to put myself together. Whilst standing in front of the mirror I called to C that I wanted to cut some hair off the back of his head quickly since he wouldn’t let me cut his hair on Monday.
It’s okay people, I play a hairdresser in real life.
His reply was ,”Ack! If you’re gonna cut some of my hair, I need to take a shower and you have to blow it dry when you’re done.”
This boy has curl and when he’s not wearing a baseball cap backwards or a beanie, he’s got some big hair.
Arg! I’d fix it I told him but, “he’d better hurry his a** up” because I’d let my hair dry by itself and I needed to put myself together!
A major event in my kid’s life, one I’m sure will be documented with pictures. If I was gonna sit in front of the school for 3 hours, possibly sweating, I needed to make sure I was gonna look decent!
My mother has always said, vanity gets you nowhere. I beg to differ………it makes for good photos.
I got the kid’s hair fixed, myself ready and I was off. Only 30 minutes late. Not bad, all things considered.
My mama-in-law came to rescue and after I left, took C to get some new shoes.
Lucky little turd….
I sat in line in front of the school for 3 hours with a girlfriend and a crap-ton of other parents which gave me plenty of time to peruse the ceremony program to make sure my son’s name was really in it.
Again, I praised God. Practically out loud.
Gates were opened, seats were saved and I waited for the rest of my group to join me. We were in a large outdoor amphitheater seated on benches which all of us early birds had laid towels upon. I got a text from my husband and one from his mom saying they were on their way.
Then my phone rang. It’s C.
Wait a minute! Why is he calling me?! He shouldn’t be able to call me!! They’ve been lined up for 30 minutes by now!
“Mom, can you come get my phone. They won’t let me walk in the ceremony unless you come get it.
Oh. My. Gawd!!!!!!! Are you effing kidding me?!!!!
“Where are you?!”
He obviously hadn’t read the rules about how you weren’t supposed to bring anything to school with you.
“We’re lined up behind the amphitheater.” He gave me directions and I moved in the only direction I was allowed to go; about 40 feet down a row filled with people. It was like parting the Red Sea………. although I think I was a little more irritated than Moses.
After a few speeches, some music, and processional…..the ceremony was over.
We spent the next 15 minutes searching for him in the ocean of people and finally located him standing in line to get the actual certificate. He obliged my request to take a picture with me. We left the campus for home and C went back to a friend’s house to wait for a few who’d be joining us for dinner.
35 minutes had passed, so I called him. “Hey, where are you? There’s a house full of people waiting.”
“Why is there a house full of people?”
*Exasperated sigh* That’s my boy…………
Chaos aside, the day was absolutely priceless and the look on his face as he walked down that aisle with his classmates to receive his diploma was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen….