Our emotions are funny. One moment, we can be fully of wild excitement, the next sadness or frustration, and then apathy and confusion. It’s like riding an emotional roller coaster. I’m waiting for that wild excitement to return. In the meantime, I pull together with YaYa’s 7th grade class and all of the parent volunteers to host a dinner-dance for the graduating class.
It’s quite an event. The gymnasium has been transformed into a glamourous hall-like environment. It has an aura of enchantment, as all graduation events tend to have. We set up the elaborate (mostly handmade) appetizers on trays fancied up with a flower arrangement for the students to mill about and offer to the guests. They return for more and more until it is time for dinner. One by one, our black and white, bow tie wearing children, gather the plates of salad and file out to serve them. Then they are sent out to collect these same plates “centipede style,” snaking up the first table and down the next, retrieving the plates, and returning to the kitchen to scrape and stack them before heading out again. Dinner, then desert.
At the point where our work is done, we sit back and watch our kids in action. We marvel at how much they’ve grown and matured. Some have been there since pre-k, while others like YaYa have only been there since 4th or 5th grade. We exchange stories of trials and triumphs with school work, and talk about our children’s desired high school(s). We even groan about how we didn’t know that we were to supply the appetizers when we signed up — even though we are all pretty happy with how it turned out. And, naturally, we marvel at the jaw dropping gowns on the ladies (parent and young adult) and joke about what we might be wearing this time next year.
This school year has been a challenging one. The academic jump between last year and this has been dumbfounding and I am so proud at how my son has pulled up his bootstraps to attack it. He may not have the grades that one would expect from such an effort, but the work ethic he’s developed is one to be proud of. I can only hope and pray that between now and his graduation party that he will find the secret to studying efficiency and better retention of information learned. Then, it will be my turn to dance around in the excitement of another milestone in my son’s life.
To all of you parents celebrating milestones of graduation to kindergarten, to high school, to college, or out into the world: Congratulations! Enjoy the moment and don’t forget to take a whole lot of pictures.