Ugh. I have a post-graduation hangover.
It’s a done deal. Dude is officially a graduate. He’s now free to become part of society … in August. lol That’s when he will buckle down and get a job. Why August? Because we are going on a family vacation in late July and there’s really no point in the boy looking for a job when he’s going to have to ask for a week off right off the bat.
I’m sure that wouldn’t exactly endear him to his employer.
And, the kid deserves a break. He’s worked his tail end off for 13 years – he deserves to have some time off and just goof off.
But I reserve my right to nag him beginning in August. 😀
Yesterday was busy. Dude went to his graduation rehearsal at his school at 9:00 yesterday morning. He didn’t want to go, but I made him because I’ve never done this before and I had no clue what was going to happen or where he was supposed to go. I’m glad he went because he was able to connect with his friends and make plans to meet them at a certain time so they could all sit together.
I walked/jogged my three miles before cleaning up and going to the office for a few hours. When I dropped Jazz off back at home after school, I checked on Dude – who was in bed with a stomachache. He said the pizza rolls he had cooked for himself had been bad, and they might have been, but I really think it was a case of the nerves. He’s always done this, even when he was a little boy. Whenever something came up that he would have to participate in, or was nervous about, he would suddenly develop a stomachache or some other ailment. He keeps insisting he wasn’t nervous about the graduation ceremony, but I knew better. Still. I have learned to pick my battles and I left him alone, curled up into a fetal position on his bed.
In the meantime, I got my crap together and called Qdoba to order a Taco Bar from them for Saturday’s graduation reception. I’m expecting about 20 people to show up – give or take a friend or two. I’ll be picking the food up at 11:30 – the reception starts at noon.
I hope I’m not cutting it close. (Incidentally, I have to pick the cake up between 9:00 and noon on Saturday, too. I’m anticipating stressful moments).
But back to yesterday …
Five o’clock rolls around and it’s time for the boys to change into their dress clothes. Luckily, Dude fit into Kevin’s old dress slacks and I didn’t have to buy him any. It’s funny, but Kevin is always commenting on how skinny Dude is and yet, his old slacks fit Dude perfectly, indicating that Kevin was pretty skinny at one point. Both boys are stick figures – they have inherited that extreme skinniness from their father.
Definitely not from me. HA!
We were going to go out to eat at a nice restaurant, but no one was hungry, so we ended up going to Subway. Dude could only stomach chips and Sprite, whereas Jazz and myself had a three-inch sub sandwich. I’ll admit it, I hardly ate anything yesterday. I was too nervous to eat, too.
We headed up to MSU. We wanted to go early in order to ensure a parking space. I was really worried that it would be so chaotic that we would be challenged to find anything within a reasonable walking distance. (Thank God we had nice weather yesterday). However, I was surprised to find that parking was not an issue – at all. As we were driving around to find a decent parking space (Kevin wouldn’t let me park in one parking lot because he was afraid I would get a ticket since I didn’t have a pass. I kept telling him that the university didn’t enforce that rule for events like this, but he wouldn’t believe me. It might have had something to do with the fact that I told him that the university didn’t enforce the permit rule in the summer either, and yet, I got a ticket when I used the university library one day. Oops).
I saw my parents walking toward the building as we were heading toward the parking garage, but since my mom didn’t have her cell phone on (*AHEM* MOM), they disappeared into the crowd.
I knew where Jazz was supposed to go (he was scheduled to play with the band – he had done this last year, so we were good to go on that), but I had no idea where Dude was supposed to go. He said he was meeting his friends in “the alley”, but I didn’t see any sort of alley. We ended up walking around the building (which actually consisted of two buildings squeezed into one which translates into HUGE and I’m walking fast because the clock is ticking and I’m trying hard not to sweat because I tend to sweat in really embarrassing places and I had on khaki slacks and just .. no).
Luckily, Dude spotted his friends and before I could say “good luck!”, the kid was gone and out of sight. I continued walking around the building because Kevin and his family were in the back of the building and I was in the front, when I just happened to spot my parents at another entrance.
I say “happened” because by this time, there were hundreds of people milling around. I shoved my way through line to join them, (okay, I didn’t shove, I just politely “nudged”), called Kevin and we agreed to meet when we were allowed in.
We stood outside for about 45 minutes before they finally opened the doors. Again. Thank God it was a nice evening because that really would have sucked if it had been raining.
We found Kevin and his family and were able to snag seats in the same row. (We weren’t supposed to save seats so I was a little stressed that we would all be able to sit together).
The graduates filed in. I carefully studied the kids as they came in and when I spotted Dude, I poked my mom and mother-in-law in excitement. “There he is!” I said. My heart jumped, my breath caught and …
… it wasn’t Dude. Oops. I laughed. And felt like an idiot. Apparently, I don’t know my own son. HA!
I watched the kids like a hawk come into the room, searching each face and looking for my first-born son. When I finally spotted him, I took a half second to absorb that fact that it was actually him – that this was actually going to happen, before my heart jumped and my breath caught in my throat once again.
We had good seats. We were able to see him clearly. However, Kevin was a few seats down from me and had a better view of him than I did. He told me later that Dude was virtually stone as he sat through the ceremonies and speeches – he barely moved a muscle. I had to smile because I knew what that meant – he was really nervous.
I could understand why. To be shoved into the spotlight in front of thousands of people (the stadium was packed) for an introverted, shy personality was pretty close to hell.
We all patiently sat through introductions, songs, and speeches before the event we were all eagerly waiting for started – they began calling the seniors down to receive their diplomas. (Well actually, they didn’t receive their diplomas until afterward, but we all get the ritual, right?)
I’m surprised I had the presence of mind to even tape this. My heart was pumping so hard I was barely able to hear them call his name.
There were about 400 kids in his graduating class. That was the biggest in the city. And even though there were a lot of kids, it went pretty fast. When it was over, it was time for the kids to throw their hats into the air. I wondered if Dude would throw his hat.
When it was over, we stumbled out into the cold (BRR) and I fielded calls from both Dude and Jazz until we finally located each other. Then we took the traditional pictures:
And it was over. It was like someone had punctured a balloon and all the air was slowly leaking out. Our excitement ebbed and we headed home. Dude had had the chance to go to Project Graduation (which is a supervised party at a community center that was supposed to last until 4:00 in the morning), but he didn’t want to go, so we went to Taco Bell to buy him some food (because his “stomachache” was mysteriously better) and we went home.
We’re exciting that way.
We didn’t discover, until we were driving home, that Dude had actually gotten his diploma. They gave it to him after he left the arena. I was surprised because I thought they would just mail it to him, but nope, he was able to put it into his diploma holder and we all admired it all the way home.
And that’s it. It’s over. It’s official.
Well, it’s not over quite yet, though. We have the reception on Saturday. We were planning on having it outside on our new patio (more on that in a bit), but it looks like rain. We’ll see. This time of year is so unpredictable because even though they’re calling for rain now, the weather could easily change before Saturday. We’ll see.
So. I have a high school graduate.
I feel old. lol