Friday, June 17, 2011

I've survived my children's childhoods

My baby - the last of my four - graduated from high school tonight.  At approximately 7:20 PM EDT, my youngest daughter was handed her diploma amidst all the appropriate pomp and circumstance one small Connecticut town can muster.  Driven inside by the weather, there was something so endearingly Thornton-Wilderish about the whole scene, I half expected the Stage Manager to put in an appearance.

It was all exactly the way I remember mine, the way I remember my daughters' and my son's:   the speeches, the singing, the uncomfortable seats.  The girls always wear white gowns, the boys in a color.  There was even the same wreath of cigar smoke when we exited the building.  Libby distinguished herself admirably among her peers and her youngest graduated with the highest GPA and the most academic awards of them all.

But along with the pride, there's a sense of relief.     

"14 years and four graduations is a lot of graduating," I remarked to my oldest daughter, as we took turns dandling Baby Grace on our knees between the speeches.  "But I get a break now."

"Jake won't graduate for another fifteen years," she agreed. 

And he's your kid, I thought silently.  Blessed, blessed be.

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