Sunday, March 22, 2015

Seasons of Graduation Part III (repost from Open Salon)

The following night we are shopping for my daughter’s graduation dress, a summer dress she picks out.  While I worry that it is not quite dressy enough, I keep my concerns somewhat to myself.

The morning of her graduation, my daughter is a princess.  Her light-blue summer dress is simplistic; the aura of royalty is within her.

My youngest is distracted many times during the first hour of his sister’s graduation. He is distracted by sitting on a metal chair, perching on my knees, pretending to listen to the speaker.  All he wants to do is see his big sister walk across the stage.  Well, honestly, all my four year old wants to do is leave, but I tell him we can’t leave until his big sister walks across the stage.

Many awards are given to many of the same children who storm, stroll or saunter up to the stage again, and again.  My daughter’s name is not called. High School will be different, I think.  While she is in advanced classes now, she really has to work harder to be involved in sports, arts, after school events. 

Practices, games, meetings, fundraisers.  High school will be exhausting, for her too.

But today, she is an 8th grader.

Her principal reminds the students, during her speech, to strive for success though others may not wish it on you and to aim for excellence though many do not want you to reach it. I hope the children are listening.  I hope my daughter is listening.

“The children’s names will be called in random order,” one of the announcers says.  Briefly, I wonder whose idea that was.

A room of parents, grand parents, brothers, sisters, and student who really just want to see one child—maybe two—walk  across the stage, accept a diploma, smile for the camera, and sit back down, is now expected to sit quietly while please holding all applause til the end. 

Randomness is too chaotic.

Most manage to hold their applause, at least until their child’s name is called.

We are reminded, often, to wait until all names are called but because the program has no names on it, it is a fruitless endeavor.  The children are restless.  The adults are restless.  Still, the list of names drones on until finally, my child’s name is called.

I hear no names after hers.

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