Friday, June 02, 2017

Graduation day

   Graduation weekend for some of my grands. Jacob graduated this morning from 5th grade at Lily B. Clayton Elementary, Eden from Cobb Middle School 8th grade in Frisco (is she excited about high school? Just a bit!), and Madison graduates from high school in Frisco tomorrow. I’ll be there for that one.
I was sorry to miss ceremonies for Eden and Jacob, Edie because of distance, Jacob because of my mobility problems. Jordan had planned to get me to the school, but I knew it would be horrifically crowded, couldn’t decide which would be best—walker of transport chair, and didn’t want her to have to be worrying about me when she should be rejoicing in her child’s accomplishments. So I sat home, envisioned him walking down the hall, and as I told him last night, sent him telepathic messages.

The end of Jacob’s elementary school experience is particularly nostalgic for me. For five of his six years at the school across the street, I was his “school person.” I gave him a hug when his parents brought him to school in the morning (okay, he outgrew that and didn’t want me to hug him publicly), picked him up from school, and labored through homework with him. I remember third grade as particularly tough. He acknowledged last night that we were a duo for much of his schooling, and I thought we would both cry.
Probably first or second grade
a morning hug

Jacob tells me at some schools fifth graders’ last day is an ordinary day, spent in the classroom without much education, maybe playing on their iPads, but at the end of the day someone wishes them well, and that’s it. Not at Sweet Lily B. Family, faculty, and students “clap” them out, lining the halls and rhythmically clapping as the graduates walk by. It’s a tear jerker, and when we thought I’d go, I was prepared to take an entire box of Kleenex. I get teary just writing about it. I went with friend Sue several years ago when her son Hunter graduated.
lots of sentimental tears at graduation

Then, according to Jacob, there was a ceremony that includes several musical selections and probably a short talk—he was a little vague on those details. “Clap out” is the big deal.

When I was in school long ago and in another place, we went to one school K-8 and then had an 8th grade ceremony. I remember marching to the auditorium, with its battered wooden seats, to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.” At Kenwood Elementary, we had our own lyrics: “Goodbye to you, Kenwood/We will remember you/For you’ve led us onward/To the halls of Fame.” For my mom and me, “Pomp and Circumstance” was forever marred; we couldn’t hear it with the Kenwood lyrics going through our minds.

So to all graduates this weekend, I wish you pomp and circumstance. And, Jacob, I love you a lot, and you should know my summer project is to teach you to read cursive.

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