Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It Is Done

It's taken a long time to get to this post as life as been incredibly busy lately, but here I am, finally, ready to discuss the end of Mr 18's high school career.

Graduation day arrived rainy and cloudy. Mr 18 was up very early to attend Mass at 8 a.m. in honor of the graduates. When he came home he crawled right back into bed. Hubby and I continued to prep for the day and woke Mr 18 in time to attend an Open House before he had to go to the school for Graduation. He wasn't pleased that we woke him up and was less pleased that we kept waking him up. (What will this kid do when he's out on his own without me to be his repeating alarm clock?)

Hubby, Miss 10 and I dropped Miss 14 off to play in the band and we stood in line to get seats to watch The Big Day. Yes, we had to be there earlier than the graduates to stand in line and assure ourselves seats. My parents, Hubby's Mom, SuperSisterinLaw, SuperSister and BroadwayBrotherinLaw all joined us at the ceremony. It was mercifully short and quite nice. We were able to be leaving the heat and stuffiness of the crowd before too long and headed home to celebrate.

The ceremony was both casual and formal at the same time. Moments of levity by the student speakers helped to ease some of the sadness of both parents and graduates.

The downside of the entire ceremony being some of the idiotic parents/friends who brought air-horns to blow when their graduate crossed the stage. An announcement was made before the presentation of graduates began that some of the students were highly sensitive to noise. They asked specifically for no yelling or air-horns. Yet there were still selfish enough people in the audience to not be able to follow directions. Perhaps they need to go back to high school or maybe grade school and learn how important following directions is.

There were no lights on the stage, or near the stage, so any pictures we took of Mr 18 during the ceremony didn't even turn out. I don't understand the point of not having lights, perhaps if they were using a spotlight or something similar, but nothing, instead it was just really dark. That's kind of disappointing, but we'll survive.

We came home and took many pictures of Mr 18 with various family members and had his request of cookies and rice krispie bars as a celebratory snack before he had to leave the house to go to 12 different open houses. No, that's not an exaggeration, that's the real number. Hubby and I left our families here to prepare sustenance for all of us as we headed to 3 open houses as well.

That evening the graduates were all invited to a parent/school/community provided after graduation party. It is an awesome idea to provide an alcohol free all night celebration for the kids. There are always a lot of great door prizes, games and food. Basically the kids who sign up are bused to an undisclosed location and chaperoned by parents all night with no option to leave. Mr 18 arrived home post-party and breakfast at 5:30 a.m. (Yawn!) Unfortunately having that party the night of graduation only delays the inevitable of a "class" party where they celebrate on their own. That happened the next night. It was a big fight with Mr 18 over whether he could go or not, and it provided more tears from me than the graduation itself. There were lengthy discussions on appropriate behavior, expectations and trust. It was a long night.

Overall I held it together better than I ever expected to. It's strange being a 39 year old with a high school graduate in the house.

Now we look forward with some trepidation to the summer ahead and the evenings and nights where he is gone with friends. I'm sure it will provide us with some gut wrenching nights.

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