The graduation festivities are over, and we survived intact. A good time was had by all, everything went well and I managed to make it through a baccalaureate program, honors night, the graduation ceremony and Project Graduation without crying. I came close a few times, and I thought I was going to burst out in loud tears when the kids released their balloons at the end of Project Graduation early Saturday morning, but I held it together, which was a dadgum miracle I tell ya’. Besides being emotional, I was worn out from staying up all night with 98 rowdy teenagers at the time, and a sore toe could have made me weep. However, I bit my lip and can now say I made it through each event without actually shedding a tear. Although, I’d rather not talk about how many tissues I needed while writing the letter they asked us to write to our child for placement in his Project Graduation goodie bag. THAT’S where all my tears went, three days before graduation. By the way, for those of you not familiar with it, Project Graduation is an event where the kids are basically locked in the school all night for a variety of fun and games as a way of keeping them from getting drunk, driving and killing themselves, like we used to do when I was a teenager. There are financial incentives for attending, and all but four or five kids in Teen Angel’s class attended. As a chaperone, it’s kind of like running a marathon; it takes every ounce of physical strength you have, you’re proud you stayed awake the whole time and you want someone, ANYONE to give you a medal for surviving the darn thing.
We were up all night during Project Graduation, and around 5am Saturday I looked at Hubby and said, “I know without a doubt that I am finally just too old to stay up all night.” Watching the sun rise after partying all night just isn’t the same at 47 as it is at 18. I never thought I’d reach the age where a cool pillow and five hours of sleep sounded better than another pitcher of margaritas and a convenience store burrito at 3am, but there it is. I’m becoming a geezer, and I just don’t care.
We also had a graduation/pool party at our house last night, where the kids swam and made noise until about 1am, and I’d apologize to the neighbors for the noise, but the drunken pool party two houses down from us drowned us out and no one seemed to notice our mayhem. This is the second teen gathering at our house in a week that went until 1am. The first time, Hubby woke me up around midnight, told me the kids were still in the pool and asked me if he should send them home. I said, “They are 18. We know where they are and what they’re doing. No.” But I did remind him that I had to be up for work at 5:30 the next morning, and that since he was the retired one he was responsible for keeping an eye on them until the party ended. And back to that we’re too old to keep staying up this late thing, we are happy the late night festivities are over for a while.
We got word two days before graduation that Teen Angel was ranked 7th in her class, putting her in a special place on the podium during graduation and near the front of the diploma line. And if you think I’m not going to brag about that, then you must not know the Ten Commandments of Parenting. She’s a good kid, and I’m proud of her scholastic achievement, but honestly, I was most proud of her when she relayed to me a graduation night conversation between her and a girl in her class. The girl asked Teen Angel why she wasn’t more sad about the fact the kids wouldn’t see each other again on a regular basis. TA said, “Mom, I just told her, high school is a small part of life. There’s a whole big world out there, and I plan on seein’ it.” Now, that’s my girl. And that one statement was worth all of the late nights this past week and in the last eighteen years that we’ve spent raising that child. She got her schedule for her first semester of college last Friday, and all I can say is, “Look out world! Here she comes.”
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