Tag Archives: graduation

Ah Youth

Last night we had a surprise visit from one of my younger cousins. Poor child. I suppose she’s so bored she doesn’t mind visiting her not-so-exciting-and-fun older cousin and aunt, but it’s always nice to see her.

I really think she was just too excited to go home and go to sleep. You see today’s her last day of high school. She graduates next week and she’s been counting the days for at least a year. I kept trying to tell her to enjoy it while she could because once high school is over the real world comes creeping in. She so doesn’t get that part.

Maybe it’s a combination of listening to the 90s rock channel on my satellite radio, or maybe it’s visits from the kids whose diapers I used to change, but I feel old now. I had just graduated from high school when she was born. I was free as a bird until college started and I couldn’t wait. When I look at her, all I can think was “God, I was the dumbest kid on Earth”.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? We spend all of our youth wanting to be older and all of our adult years wanting to be younger. I don’t think I’d want to go back to high school (I can’t blame my cousin there), but college would be fun. Especially now that they have all these cool things like Humans vs. Zombies (or is it Zombies vs. Humans?) and online classes and things like that. I was lucky that we had bubble sheets to take tests.

But I try not to wax poetic about those days. I don’t want to be the person who tells my nephews and cousins “When I was your age…” or “When I was in college we had to actually write things longhand…” Heh. Sorry, I’m snorting. Ahem.

My cousin has every right to enjoy her freedom from the public school system. I know it isn’t What’s Playing Wednesday, but there’s only one way to express the true excitement she must be feeling right now and that’s through song…

 Of course she’s much too young to probably know who Alice Cooper is, or know why it was considered okay for him to be on what was supposed to be a children’s program, but I couldn’t resist. Alice Cooper and The Muppets? You can’t lose!

Congrats to all those young graduates…if any of you read my blog.

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On Graduating

Tonight my youngest nephew, my godson, is graduating from high school. I’m feeling a little melancholy about it. After all, he was the child attached to my hip for the first two years of his life. Everyone thought he was my baby and I began to imagine he was. After a time, when he no longer needed his nanny to hold him, he would hold my hand and smile at me with that mischievous smile that always melts my heart. He’s 18 now. Not a baby anymore, but to me, he’ll always be my baby.

Thinking about watching him walk across that stage tonight, I’m reminded of the graduations I’ve attended in the past. I barely remember my sister’s graduation. I was nine when she graduated from high school and it didn’t seem that big a deal to me. My own high school graduation was more memorable. Mostly because I was wearing heels and I was scared to death about falling into the orchestra pit. We had to stand on this little carpeted podium for everyone to see us before we took our diploma.

So there I am in wobbly heels and it’s my turn to stand on the podium. I carefully planted my feet and swiveled to face the audience. Later, my friend told me it was awesome cause I looked like I had attitude. I did have attitude, but I was quaking with the fear of impending humiliation. I didn’t fall. Thank God.

College graduation was more emotional. I tried to ignore my uncle’s lime green leisure suit and white patent leather shoes, ignored my dad shouting my name…I just concentrated on breathing. As I approached the stage, I just knew they were going to yank me out of line and explain that no, I couldn’t graduate because that Math class I took needed a “C” to pass, not the “D” I walked out with. I expected it even as I crossed the stage and shook someone’s hand. It wasn’t until after I turned my cap and gown in and had my diploma in hand that I felt the tears starting. I’d finally done it.

Just two years later, my brother graduated from high school and I was devastated. My stepfather had died three months before and wasn’t there to see his only son walk across the stage. My entire family went to that graduation to support him. It was bitter-sweet, but we pulled together.

Four years later, he graduated from college the same year as my oldest nephew graduated from high school. The pain of my stepdad’s absence was still felt, but we were healing. I cried for my nephew’s graduation…he was my little Patty-melt who used to drive me insane, but was so sweet. He’d ask us “Why you not happy to me?” when we fussed him for something. And there he was, in a cap and gown, walking across the stage, looking like a man. My brother was the same. The little boy I used to play Voltron with, G.I. Joe, Nintendo, and throw pine cones at was a fully grown man about to head out into the big, mean world.

And tonight I’m closing another chapter. My godson will walk across that stage and prepare for college. I’m so happy for him, but I worry. I know how mean and cruel the world can be and I don’t want him to have to experience that heartache, but I also know that the best lessons learned are those we experience for ourselves. I only hope he realizes that and if he ever needs help, he can come to his nanny.

My, what a long post! Waxing poetic about graduation and the like. *sigh* I’ll be just fine, folks. Just realizing that my babies are growing up and soon they’ll be making more little babies for me to worry about (not too soon though!).

So, this is for the Class of 2010 whether they’re graduating from kindergarten, high school, college, or boot camp. May your dreams come true, may you live long and be happy, but don’t forget those who came before you have valuable information just waiting to be shared. Seek out advice and follow it.

For my regular readers, back to sassy old me tomorrow…a few Crash n’ Burns at Copelands should take care of all melancholy!

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Filed under Family