Congratulations to the class of 2018!
Thing G graduated last night!
We are proud.
We are joyful.
We are exhausted.
Congratulations to the class of 2018!
Thing G graduated last night!
We are proud.
We are joyful.
We are exhausted.
I’m going to have to swear off social media for a few days.
I keep seeing my friends with children the same age as Thing 2, children the same age as Thing 2 I’m “friends” with posting about graduation and it’s breaking my heart.
I’m excited and proud for my friends who share their pride and joy about this important milestone. I’m excited for these kids who count down the moments until they’re “free”. (Just stay in high school a bit longer, y’all, the real world can sometimes suck balls.)
I should be doing the same kind of sharing. I should be expressing my pride and joy that Thing 2 is graduating from high school. She should be sharing this roller coaster ride that her peers are on.
Should is a real bitch of a word. It’s mean and hateful.
I trusted Thing 2 enough to make the choice to get her high school equivalent. She trusted that choice. She appears to have no regrets. I trust that, too.
Graduation isn’t for the graduate.
Graduation is for the parents.
Graduation is for this particular Mommy.
The day Thing 1 graduated was of profound importance to me. I have never been more moved in my adult life as I was that day. To watch my baby take that ceremonial walk was more powerful than I can put into words.
Since that day, I’ve waited to experience similar feelings for Thing 2. My disappointment is bigger than I realized.
I’m not disappointed in her.
I’m disappointed to miss out on that moment with and for her, those feelings about her.
I believe witnessing your child’s graduation is a rite of passage for a parent in way a child can never understand the importance of. A sense of closure as well as a new beginning.
I’m wondering how I’ll experience that with Thing 2. What will that look like? Because it won’t look like a blue cap and gown at Colonial Life Arena in a few days time.
Perhaps it will surprise me when I least expect it.
But that frightens me! If it happens when I least expect it, how will I know the weight and magnitude? How will I know it if I’m not expecting it?
What does a rite of passage look like if it’s unexpected?
I can’t answer these questions.
I can only love my girl like I always have. I’m going to keep trusting her choices. I’m going to trust that we’ll experience our own particular rite of passage and it will fill me with equal amounts of awe and pride and never-ending unconditional love.
I celebrate with my friends in theory…somewhere in my deep in heart. I just can’t do it with photos and memories and hashtags and the like. It’s too painful.
Is that selfish? Or petty? Or simple self-preservation?
Dunno. Don’t care.
Just know I can’t look at other people’s babies in caps and gowns right now.
Thing 2 sometimes reads my words…so these are specifically for her:
You’re savvy enough to know this isn’t about you so I hope it isn’t hurtful for you to read. Your choices are yours to make. I support your right to make choices. I have faith in your ability to make mostly good ones. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I love you more than the moon and the stars.
September was a blur!
So much for writing twice a week…(I’m going to need for you to get it together, Robynbird.)
Thing 2 finally got sorted…not at school though, she worked herself up to literally (And I understand the meaning of the word, K?) foaming at the mouth she was so anxious. So after many tears, and a great deal of patience on all our parts, she has decided to get her high school equivalent and begin community college in January. Is this the plan I had for her? No. Do I think she gave going back to high school her all? No. But I do believe she feels more comfortable with this plan. She has passed all the pretests with good indication she’ll pass the GED test, and she is actively researching courses at NOVA with talk of transferring to a “proper” college in two years. (Just in case you aren’t aware, there are SO MANY wonderful Virginia schools to choose from.)
So, Thing 2 is employed at a job she really enjoys, ready to pass her tests, ready to enroll in community college, and just about ready to move into her new digs in the basement. All in all, I feel good about this, for her, and in general.
As for moving into her new digs…we’ve hired contractors to create a bathroom, bedroom (With a pretty spectacular closet.), and a big ol’ family/rec room in the unfinished basement. They started a week ago yesterday and in that time have framed, put in three windows and a six foot door, all the electrical and plumbing…and when I say plumbing, I mean they started with a jackhammer as there was no rough in. Yesterday the inspector came with two big thumbs and Monday we will have drywall. WOW!
So Thing 2 has chosen a sink and cabinet, a loo, tile, and paint colors for her bathroom…and bedding for her bedroom, but cannot seem to commit to a color choice for her bedroom. We went to Benjamin Moore earlier this week and she totally choked. She just shut down completely. I’ve seen her do it before and knew the signs. I just watched it happen, powerless to stop it. So…yeah, I’m going to need for her to get it together with a quickness.
I had surgery on my foot in September and am now on week three of being non weight bearing. Not that I’m a complainer or anything…but I’m kind of over it. Want to use two feet instead of one foot and crutches or one foot and a knee scooter. But as my beloved Grandaddy would have said, “You’re old enough for your wants not to hurt you.” At least they finally removed the stitches so I can wash my foot! I mean really wash it, you know with soap and water and a scrubbie. It’s like my own little Christmas being able to clean my stinky foot!
I know the surgery was successful because when I woke up, there was no pain, and not the anesthesia and pain killer kind of no pain, the kind of no pain that was the exact opposite of the excruciating pain I’d been in for the two weeks prior to the surgery. I’m pain free! But I can’t walk…yet.
YBW and I went to our twenty fifth high school reunion the last weekend of September! We went to see people we see frequently (Sundance) and people we only see every five or ten years, me on my scooter with the big boot on my gimp foot and a sassy high heeled shoe on the good foot, and YBW with two good feet.
Friday night was…blech. I couldn’t move around because the space was tight and a girl I knew briefly my sophomore year was hammered when we got there and latched on to me with stories of our deep and meaningful friendship and never left my side. Even Sundance couldn’t save me from that.
The next night was better. The venue was larger and I was able to get around a bit. There were less people there so we got to spend more time in smaller groups. But the most amazing thing about that night was that YBW stood up in front of all those people we went to high school with and asked me to be his wife.
OHMYGOD! I know! I was totally peeing my pants! (Sorry, that was my super squealy teenage girl voice.)
Seriously, it was the most precious thing, he got up and talked about how we began dating after our twentieth reunion and have been together for five years, four of which were long distance. He talked about how we love each other’s kids and how the words boyfriend and girlfriend seem strange words to use because we’re adults. But then he said he found a word he wanted to call me, he wanted to call me his wife. Then he walked to me and got down on one knee with the most perfect diamond in his hand.
I was shocked! Not that he asked me, because we decide in the summer we were going to get married…shocked that he did it in a room full of people that we never really see or have real relationships with, shocked that he did it in such a grandiose way.
Shock moved quickly aside and the joy has come a calling.
It’s big, happy, exciting news! We are filled with love and joy. We are accepting congratulations. We are using the word fiancé gratuitously. (But only to each other.) We are planning for the fall next year, and on the sixth anniversary of dating, we will be married.
All four Things are overjoyed for us and eager to celebrate with us.
Family and friends are supportive and loving.
I feel giggly and excited, but I also feel like I’m coming home.
At the dinner table last night, we were going over the course catalog for Thing G’s high school career, YBW, Thing C and I were remarking how taking yearbook as an elective would be a really great experience and why. Thing G gives us his one raised eyebrow, mouth slanting down one side “y’all are so weird” look, which in actuality is rather charming and not offensive. (He was SO not feeling us.)
Thing C told the story of how the yearbook his junior year had been rushed to press and was riddled with mistakes, which lead him to recite the quote: All in all you’re just another brick in the wall. Then he said, “It’s cool because the school is named after Jackson, so I get the wall part, but…yeah, that quote doesn’t really mean what they thought it meant.”
First we laughed about The Princess Bride: you keep using that word I do not think it means what you think it means. But Thing G has not yet seen that so we had to quickly explain about “inconceivable”. (Must show him that movie, I suspect he’ll actually like it.)
He was much more interested in the wall quote and why it was inaccurate for the yearbook which means we then had to explain all about The Wall…which was humorous to say the least. YBW was spectacularly accurate in his explanation. (I did not know that my sweetie was a closet The Wall fan…I can’t decide if that’s cool or freaks me out…though I guess we all went through that phase, I know I’ve seen that movie at least 10 times…but not since the middle 1980’s.)
Thing C remarking about misusing a quote reminded me of being in model home during a “parade of homes” visit years ago. In the most beautifully decorated nursery I’ve ever seen there was a Shakespeare quote painted on the wall above the crib. …to sleep, perchance to dream…
This blew my mind! Why would ANYONE write that on the wall of a child?
Uh…because they had no idea what it actually means.
So I relate this story and Thing C is in agreement, YBW seems to accept my point of view but I feel his frustration that we’ve moved so far away from course selection.
Thing C and I talk about Hamlet’s soliloquy and how inappropriate it would be to encourage that for a child. Thing G doesn’t understand why I’m making such a big deal about, so we explain why Hamlet says those words and how trying to decide whether or not to take your own life is written beautifully by Shakespeare, but taken out of context it doesn’t mean what the designer thought and it’s not a positive message to aid a baby’s sleep.
We finally sorted the course schedule for next year, and in addition to the core curriculum, Thing G is interested in technical drawing and NOT yearbook.
Thing C and I began an offshoot conversation which began with his remark that he’d never read or seen Macbeth. Which made me go all theater girl about the superstitions surrounding that particular production. “The Scottish Play” stimulated an interest to do research, so away from the table we went, we spent the next forty minutes our faces in his laptop screen getting our Shakespeare on. The only way it could have been more perfect was if Thing 1 had been here…she shares our passion for the Bard.
I have so much love and gratitude for Shakespeare, his words continue to delight, entertain and educate me, and for Thing C, who shares that love with an unfettered heart.
Golly, I love exercising my literary dorkiness!
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