May 27, 2012

The tassel has's official, he is a graduate!

There is SO much to tell you that I feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to capture it all in writing, but I will try.  If not for you then so that I can remember it all later!

As you may have heard my son graduated high school on Friday.  Being the foresighted individual that I am, I took last week off in preparation for the events leading up to the big day and for the party we were hosting after.

I won't bore you with all the details of the week, as most of it had to do with cleaning, etc. and was pretty boring and this post is going to be long enough as it is.  That's your warning.  If you need to go to the bathroom, do it now.

The "exciting" stuff began on Thursday.  Thursday was a day full of events.  All of which left me in tears.

We started the morning off with the Senior Assembly.  This is when the entire school and the seniors parents come together to marvel over what fabulous children we have.  Scholarships were announced and awards were bestowed.  It sounds pretty cut and dried.  And boring.  It was, I suppose.  Because after sitting in that gym for two hours on hard chairs that had us mashed up together like sardines, I felt like I was being tortured.  You could tell from looking at the underclassmen that they were thinking they'd rather be in class, ANY class, than sitting there.

How could this reduce me to tears, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.

Once the parents were seated in the hard chairs, the underclass grade came trooping in to take their seats in the bleachers.  The noise was deafening.  And then the band played something and we all turned around to watch as the seniors paraded in wearing full graduation attire.  And as they all walked in, so happy with their young faces full of hope for the future, I began to tear up.

But somehow, I kept it together for the rest of the ceremony.  All in all, that event was a success albeit a boring one.

That night we attended the Baccalaureate Mass and that's when things got ugly.  The church was beautiful.  The Knights of Columbus were on hand, in full Knight regalia, and the bishop was there - along with all the priests to represent every parish that makes up our school.

Then the kids came in - again in full graduation gear, minus the caps.  And I teared up.  The Mass was extra long, due to the music and speeches.

When it came time for communion, I happened to catch Man-Child's eye as I walked by - and saw him smiling so wide that I could almost see his molars.  And that's when it happened.  I had a lump the size of a fist in my throat as I walked past him and his classmates.  When I made it back to my seat, I dug some tissue out of my purse - just in case, and somehow managed to hold it together.  And that's when the kids got up, each one bearing a single red rose and went to find their mothers.  They were to give the rose to their mother to give thanks to her and honor her.  As MC walked up to me, I lost it.  Completely.

The poor kid who was seated next to me seemed very uncomfortable and bewildered.  I can't imagine why. I mean, it's normal to have a weeping fit in church, right?

After the Mass, we all headed over to one of MC's best friend's house for a get together.  Seeing as how I was overly emotional and the fact that my innate shyness kicked into overdrive, we only stayed for an hour or so.

Friday, THE day, finally came.  I received an email from the college reminding me that I should register for the parent orientation.  I started the process and then completely freaked out.  I looked at Hubby and said, "I can't DO this!"  And in a truly clueless manner he replied, "What are you crying about? You don't have to go.  It's not mandatory to attend the orientation."  At which point, I burst into fresh tears shoved the laptop into his hands and went upstairs.

It took him a few minutes, but eventually he realized that I wasn't crying about the orientation (which I STILL haven't registered for) and came upstairs to give me a hug and try to make things better.  It didn't work.

Despite the fact that I still had a cake to bake and deviled eggs to create - along with a whole host of other things to do, I got in my car and took a long, tear-soaked drive.  Finally, I came to the realization that the reason I was freaking out was a combination of many things.  Yes, I'm sad that MC will be leaving, but right now are lives are filled with so much uncertainty and that, along with hormones (can you say PMS?) and the lack of control I feel is overwhelming me.  So, I dried my eyes again and turned the car toward home feeling, I thought, marginally better.

Upon arriving home, two hours later, I found Hubby in full party-prep mode so I joined in.  I made the cake.  And turned my sights toward the deviled eggs - the ones that MC had especially asked me to make.  As I was mixing the filling I wondered out loud why it looked SO white.  And why it seemed SO runny.  Hubby and MC were walking through the kitchen on their way out when Hubby looked over and said, "Isn't there supposed to be eggs in it?"  I scoffed at him and told  him I knew what I was doing and that the filling goes IN the eggs.  He looked at me and then looked at the whole, shelled eggs and said, "Are you sure?  I thought you were supposed to add the yolks?"  I looked at the eggs and thought, "Dammit!"

The boys went on their way as I began mashing the forgotten yolks into the white, runny filling.  I wish I could say that was the only incident with those damn eggs, but I can't.  Because from there it just went from bad to worse.  On the rare occasion that I actually make deviled eggs, I usually pull out the decorater-thingy so that the filling in the eggs is prettified rather than just spooning it in.

I don't know what went wrong - but by the time it was all said and done there was filling EVERYWHERE in that kitchen and on my person but not in the eggs.  It was not pretty.  There was much swearing and crying.  Finally I just grabbed a spoon and started shoving whatever filling I had left into those damn eggs.  Then I went to take a shower to wash the egg filling out of my hair.

After the great egg incident, I took it easy for the remainder of the day.  I figured there was no sense in getting involved with something else that would most likely go wrong and have me completely insane before the graduation ceremony.

We left the house extra early, because I just knew that if we didn't we would hit some sort of delay.  And I'm glad we did.  When we arrived at the venue a full hour before the ceremony, there was no parking to be had and the line to get in was around the block!  We dropped MC off so that he could get inside (they were letting the kids in to prepare), we finally found a spot to park a few blocks over and walked back to stand in line.

The ceremony was beautiful and perfect.  I only teared up once and never had the full on meltdown that I anticipated.  MC was beaming as he crossed the stage to receive his diploma.  His father and I are so proud of him and all that he has accomplished.

The procession

Although I didn't bawl I did shed a tiny tear

The tassels were turned - it's official they are graduates!

After the ceremony, we finally found him in the crush of people.  I was surprised to see him still wearing his gown.  After the ceremony, the students were to return the cap and gown before leaving.  After I squeezed his neck for a good long time and told him how proud I was, he was ready to go.  I reminded him that he still needed to return the gown and he replied, "It's okay.  Lets go."

As we were leaving several of his classmates made a comment about the gown and how he should turn it in. He responded to them all, "There's a special story about it." and kept walking.  When I questioned that, he told me he'd tell me in the car.

As we neared the car, I asked again.  And that's when any and all tears I had were from laughter.

Apparently, when they were backstage getting ready to make their procession, his friend whose name just happens to follow ours; alphabetically speaking, dropped a bobby pin that she was using to try and secure her cap.  MC, being the gentleman I taught him to be, bent over and picked it up.  And in doing so completely ripped out the seam in the back of his pants.  Luckily, he'd already put on his gown.  He said she looked at him, noticed that he had a panicked look on his face and asked what was wrong.  He said that when he told her she was laughing so hard he thought she'd be sick.

So my poor, brave boy had to go through the entire ceremony feeling the breeze, as it were.  After the ceremony, he told one of his teachers what happened and he said that he just laughed.  The next teacher, the one collecting the gowns, laughed and told him to keep the gown and return it to the school next week.

That rip actually turned out to be a blessing because we were unable to get any pictures of us together with him wearing the cap and gown prior to or immediately following the ceremony.  But once we got home, I made him put it all back on and we took a few pictures.  Then he changed his clothes and ditched us to go hang out with his friends and I went to bed, because I knew that we still had to get through Saturday and the party.

The party was a rip roaring success.  Just about everyone who loves him was there.  In fact, one family cancelled their trip to the beach just to be there.  We were so touched.  I looked around at all the faces and knew that these people love him, and us, and that they are more than friends, they are like family.  And we are so blessed to have them in our lives.

MC came away with the same knowledge.  He knows that if he were ever in need that any one of these people would be there for him in an instant.

And so now, high school is behind us and the future is in front of us.  I know that in the coming weeks, I will continue to lose it as his leaving gets closer, but for now I'm just going to stop, breathe and enjoy spending all the time with him that I can.

As for those damned deviled eggs?  I'm told they were magnificent.


  1. Ok, so I totally freaking cried through this whole post! Damn you! Wow, how has the time passed so quickly? You looked beautiful by the way, I hope you enjoyed every second, deviled eggs be damned!

  2. Congratulations... you both made it!!!

    Impressive photos, Gigi, ya done good!

  3. OK, first off- did he go to a private school? If so, how did I not know this?

    Secondly, congrats, congrats, congrats! You ALL made it and you ALL deserve to be honored.

    Thirdly, I am cracking up that MC gave you blog fodder with his ripped pants. Pure awesomeness.

    Fourthly, (not sure that is a word) the deviled egg debacle is one that you will remember forever and will tell your daughter-in-law when she is freaking out over the first family function at her new house. And she will love you for it.

  4. So the deviled eggs need to be made in precisely that way to be excellent, right? Those pictures of you are delightful. I would have known from your expressions that you were freaking out, but in a good way. Just wonderful, Gigi. Thank you so much for taking the time to get it written down just right! :-)

  5. I'm crying with you reading this! So glad it went well for you all (ahem apart for the devilled eggs and ripped pants!)


  6. oh heck Gigi, you've got me crying.

    I am so happy for you and him.

  7. Oh my, the whole post just made me laugh and cry. I really can't imagaine what you are going through, and in the same breath, I totally understand. Children leaving the nest is such a big milestone. MC is obviously happy and well-adjusted, look at his smile!! You will get through this! Esp. when I come for a visit and we drink a lot...

  8. I don't know where to start!! COngrats to you and your baby:)
    I fell apart reading that he presented you with a rose. Oh the sweetness of that moment, and I too believe that rip was a blessing in disguise because the picture of you and your son together is GORGEOUS!
    Thanks for sharing your special memories with all of us!

  9. You DID IT! Love the picture of you and your son.

  10. Gorgeous pictures Gigi! I know I will cry when my daughter graduates and I probably won't get a rose! Congratulations to your boy x

  11. I am crying for a mother who has worked her butt off all of these years and is now seeing her baby boy grown up.

    I am crying because this will be me in 8 years....

    Lovely post my friend.

  12. Aww! How wonderful, Gigi!

    The rose brought a tear to my eye. :-) A good one, though.


  13. Okay, this is the post I was looking for...I gotta brace myself as I prepare to read it. Gotta get me some tissues also. I'll be back!

  14. Gigi, let's just say I was glad I was home alone while I read this. My God! The tissue wasn't enough, I used my shirt. You got me with the rose...OMGoodness! Sigh...I wish I could give you a big hug, but please know I'm feeling the pain with you. It hurts! Okay...shake it off, laVender. Get a grip, girl! Deep breath. Okay, you did it Gigi and THANK YOU for sharing. I literally cried like an idiot baby - not just a few tears out the corner of my eyes, but boohoo! I can't take this and I have a year to go. I need medication! LOL!