The Graduate

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already; I’m still catching up from our whirlwind weekend, which went very, very well. Sunday’s graduation was amazing, and–surprisingly–I didn’t even do the full-on, ugly cry! (Yay me!)

The morning began with photos in the backyard: lots of them.

It was pretty surreal to see my own kid in a cap and gown, I have to say. He was extremely patient, too, with all of the picture-taking going on. Jim’s parents, along with his sister and her family, were there and in the mix (my parents would come over later), and the photo session took about thirty minutes.

One of my favorite moments was when I posed alone with him. He does a pretty good impression of Borat, and he was running through the whole “King of the castle, I have a chair” scene before posing. Just before Jim snapped the picture, he said to me, in his best Borat accent, “I like you.” As a result, this happened:

Suddenly it was time to leave. We said goodbye to the rest of the family, because with 912 students in his graduating class, the school only had space for four family members per student (Jim, the younger boy, Julesie, and I were the golden ticket holders). Everyone else would stay home and watch the ceremony online. (Technology rocks.)

After a stop at the older boy’s girlfriend’s house for pictures of the two of them, we headed to the local community college for the ceremony. Thanks to the recommendation of Julesie’s hair stylist, whose brother graduated in that space last year, we found the perfect seats and I grabbed my Kleenex, just to be ready. It’s been an emotional few weeks so I thought for sure I’d be a hot mess during the ceremony.

Surprisingly? I wasn’t. I got a little teary-eyed during only a few parts. The first time I watered up was actually just before the ceremony began, when the band began to play a medley from the musical “Wicked”. Remember this post? Oy vey.

It was spectacular, watching the processional and hearing “Pomp and Circumstance” being played for MY kid, MY high school graduate. Wow. *sniff*

When the principal asked for the military-bound graduates to stand, it was amazing. It was emotional, as everyone gave them a standing ovation.

What was amazing was that, even with 912 graduates, the ceremony only took one hour, twenty minutes. They had two lines going at the same time as they were handing out diplomas (actually, just the keepsake sleeve: they had to turn in their collar and gown to get the piece of paper!), and the names were being rattled off like nobody’s business. I was annoyed that some people didn’t respect the request to refrain from cheering too loudly when their graduate’s name was called so that EVERYONE could hear their graduate’s name. They were calling names so quickly that any cheer more than a “Yay!” would drown out the next one.

When the ceremony was over, all of the graduates walked out in line just like they came in, with a twist. Everyone in the place was clapping, but then I noticed something as I watched them exit the fieldhouse: the high school faculty members were standing on both sides of the line of graduates as they walked out, and they were clapping for their former students. I grabbed the Kleenex at that moment too; it was so powerful.

It was such a lovely day. I’ll remember it always, but I’m glad it’s over so we can move on. He’s currently living the life of a new graduate, hanging out and sleeping in. His only obligations this week are his part-time job and lacrosse practice, due to his team being in the playoffs, and he’s taking full advantage of the break. Though I normally don’t let my kids sleep in until lunchtime, this week I’m giving him a pass. He’s earned it.


©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • nycgirl0501

    What a great weekend! I'm so happy for you and your family! The pictures are great! I can't believe 912 students in the graduating class! We had 89 graduates (all girls Catholic high school) and still the ceremony was at least 2 hours if not over! LOL!

  • Mom24

    He looks amazing. I'm so glad you had a lovely day.

    I'm terribly jealous. 1. We have half the size of a class as you and ours is expected to take 3 and 1/2 hours. TOO LONG!

    2. When Jason graduated I bawled. I was pregnant with Julianna at the time, so I'm really hoping it was mostly hormones and I won't be like that this time.

    Enjoy your summer with him.

  • As Cape Cod Turns

    Sounds like it was great! Love the picture of you cracking up too!

    I would say older boy deserves a little slack this week.

    We are graduating 38 next week. Bet it will take twice as long as your ceremony!

  • Otter Thomas

    Sounds like an amazing time. I am sure those memories will last forever.

    I find the crazy rednecks screaming at graduations are both hilarous and maddening at the same time.

  • Heather

    What an awesome weekend! I am just so excited for you guys! And proud of you for not crying too much! hahaha.

    My brother graduates Saturday with a class of 1400. Let's hope it's only a 2 hour ceremony! GAH!

  • PJ Mullen

    Congrats to the graduate. 912 students in one class? I think that was more than my entire high school. Wow.

  • kayem17

    Congratulations to both of you!

    I love that he said he likes you. That's pretty high praise coming from a teen boy!

  • Mrs4444

    Sounds familiar. 912 graduates!! HOLY COW! (ours was 270) I almost lost my mind during commencement as a result of the many family members in the audience with BLOW HORNS. Seriously? Thank heaven I only have to attend one more and will have three years for my ears to recover.