Miles run yesterday: 10
Words written in novel so far: 14,230
Squirrel attacks on me while running yesterday: 1
My son graduates from 5th grade next week. When people mention it, I find it silly: passing 5th grade and going on to middle school is not optional or a particularly huge achievement. But when they asked us to send in a photo of him as a baby for a slide show, I knew I would be doomed.
I have a Graduation Problem, the way some people have a Wedding Problem: I tend to cry. Even when I don’t have a horse in the race.
For one thing, as a mom with only two kids who have not yet graduated from anything but preschool, I have been to an alarming number of graduations. I’m not sure I could count them.
Although I a.) didn’t like school and b.) especially hated newspaper projects while in school, I have been assigned various high school graduations to attend and write about for my local paper. Go figure. Be careful what you dislike as a kid, I say. Karma has a sense of humor.
Absolutes at graduation ceremonies:
1. It will be hot, with little air circulation.
2. Some families will scream out, “Wooooo, go Errrrrrriiiiiicc!” even when the administrators ask that applause and cheering be held until the end. (I secretly wished my family would do that, and they never did.)
3. I will cry.
For a couple of years, the big graduation song the choruses would sing was, “For Good” from “Wicked.”
Imagine a warm, gymnasium-like setting, the lights dimmed, teenagers in shiny gowns singing:
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend…
[And lots of other words, then…]
Who can say if I’ve been
Changed for the better?
I do believe I have been
Changed for the better
Because I knew you…
I have been changed for good…
This is when I start crying, notebook in hand, wishing they would get past the maudlin part to the “Go Errrrriiiiccc!” part.
Keep in mind, I know none of these people. I do not know the parents, the students, for the most part, the administrators either. Still, the tears.
When my sister “graduated” with her Ph.D., it was not in a sea of gowns but rather at a speech that she gave with an official-looking laser pointer and lots of very big science-y words that involved a protein or riboflavin or something pharmacological. There was no music or singing or inappropriate cheering. But I still got teary.
So next week, even though graduating from 5th grade isn’t optional, I’ll be the mom at my son’s graduation who is bawling but pretending I have a cold.
I am praying they don’t play, “For Good.”