Wednesday, May 25, 2016

...Graduation Loading...

Here we are, 17 days until our youngest graduates high school.

Last week we went to the academic awards night where he was presented with his college scholarships by his very own brother.  That was one of my most proud moments as a parent.

The day after he missed senior skip day, because his coach threatened to pull him from Regional's if he didn't show up to school.  It's been like that as long as I can remember, and he's too good of a kid push the limits.

His high school sports career is over, due to a technicality (if you call a student forgetting to measure his throw because he wasn't paying attention a technicality, then go with that.  I call it a major fuck up, when he would have PR'd and gotten his personal goal for the season).  Granted, I was hoping he'd make Sectionals, but there are some really good thrower's in the region. It was more about him beating his goal. All in all it was a really good high school sports career.  Four years of football ending with a defensive player of the year award, all conference honorable mention, and a GMC scholar award, four years of track and a year of baseball (of his own doing...he wasn't cut).

He spent yesterday in Chicago with his other AP Science classmates exploring the Shedd Aquarium and the Planetarium.

He'll spend today and tomorrow likely paying no attention in class, because as a senior he probably doesn't really give a crap any longer.  I know I wouldn't.

The weekend will be at our home away from home most likely spent relaxing, fishing, shooting and eating.

Next week he'll have four days of class and his final sports banquet.  Every day I ask if he has homework and he says no.  He's either doing it at school or the teachers have given up handing out assignments.

The week after will be finals.  Who knows how many he'll have after they give out exemptions.  Then he'll have his senior dinner dance, graduation walk through and training for his summer job.   Then we have the big day.

I think I can say it will be a big day for him.  It's the culmination of 13 years of school.  13 years of playing by the rules.  13 years of going to class and getting his homework done. 13 years of making and losing friends, and earning the respect of teachers and coaches.   13 years of getting to practice early, and leaving late, when someone else didn't do their job and equipment needed to be put away.  13 years of getting ready for that next step in his life.

I remember when he moved from preschool to kindergarten.  We were there when they had their ceremony.  He wore a gown and a homemade cap, and I took pictures(!).  They called it graduation.  (Side note, I don't believe in calling it graduation when a kid moves from preschool to grammar school, 2nd to 3rd grade, 7th to 8th grade, etc. ... it's passing your grade.  Needless to say, we celebrated it like it was a graduation, even if calling it that pisses me off to this day).

Once June 11th arrives, I'm sure I'll be a bundle of nerves.  We'll try to get to school early enough to get a decent seat along with the 1,600 other spectators.  I'll be armed with my trusty Canon, trying to get shots of him and those kids that mean something to our family.  We'll listen to the class speaker, fingers crossed it's our favorite, because man can he give a speech.  We'll spend three hours in that stifling gym...why I have no idea, when the school has a great sports stadium.  I'll cry when I see him walk in the gym.  I'll cry when I see our friends that have been on this journey with us.  I'll cry when I see teachers, coaches and the counselor that has been on this ride with us and I will thank them all for that they've done.  And I'll cry when he walks across that stage to get his diploma. (For the record, I'm crying now as I write this.  I really am pathetic.)

What I won't do is apologize for it.  My husband and I are ready for high school to be over.  Both our kids successfully navigated this district, all the ups and downs, and avoided getting caught up in the minutia.  I don't doubt that our youngest is ready to be done too.  This summer will bring a full time job, college orientation, a combined graduation party, his 18th birthday, and we'll see how many friendship's stay true for both he and us.  He'll be heading to campus on August 11 to arrive for his first day football practice.

Just remember kiddo, Dr. Suess said: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." We love you and can't wait to see what you do next.

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