Saturday, June 11, 2011

Release My Breath And Smile.

This has been a very busy, long, tiring, and wonderful week.

Full of stressful and sweet moments.

I watched my beautiful Middlest walk out of the house a high school girl, looking classy and gorgeous in a tasteful dress that made her look like a real grown up. Which was weird. I was amazed at the stuff some of the girls showed up in to graduate. I saw dresses that looked like they belonged on stage in a hootchie review and 6 inch heels that they could barely walk in. My child looked like a dark haired Grace Kelly in a dress she chose herself. (Am I bragging? Damn Straight.) And walk back in with a diploma in her hand.

I saw her walk in a cap and gown that hid every bit of her. Except her face which glowed with a smile that couldn't be missed and moments after taking her seat she had found us in a giant arena. A skill learned from years in an orchestra. She beamed up at us keeping her eyes on her family. Except when her walking partner, who is a childhood friend--turned boyfriend--turned back to friend--was teasing her. Her comment was -"I started school with X poking me with his elbow and I ended school with X poking me with his elbow. Very Appropriate."

I sat with my husband of 25 years and watched her graduate from the same high school we attended. I sat with Littlest who will be there herself in 2013 but was more concerned with the toddler sitting in front of her and spent most of the pre-ceremony smiling and watching her. I sat with my son-in-law DecentGuy, who messed up when he was a student at this school and has been encouraging and fussing and Actually Bribing Middlest to do it right. He's been with Biggest too long, figures it works with that one, why not?...In any case, she has a bass guitar coming her way now. I sat with Biggest who also threw it away when she was there and who cried when Middlest told her she made it, because she was so proud. I sat with this daughter who will be 24 next week. Who stood next to me during the pledge but whispered 'sell out' in my ear and then redeemed herself by laying her head on my shoulder as we sat and watched. It always surprises me when they do that. I freeze in those moments to hold tight to every second of them. We've had several this week. Meeting Middlest on the half way point of out stairs and her reaching out, "I need a hug really bad." Littlest leaning into me as we sat on the porch, at home afterward, celebrating.

I watched the pre-ceremony show. Two families in the row in front of us almost get in a fist fight over the row. Between the family with 3 people who showed up early to save an entire row for the rest and the second family who decided to sit there. The first saying, "These were saved, we have more coming." The second saying, "No they ain't, there's no one sitting in them, they ain't saved." So the first family eventually settled on death glares and loud comments when their other family members showed up. What is wrong with people? The Groundeds' are split on who was right. One side says you can't expect to just show up early and keep that many seats. The other says, That was rude. Get there early yourself instead of stealing seats someone else showed up early for.

I saw the during the ceremony show. Which was people who were solemnly asked to observe decorum. No yelling, cheering, or horns please. After all, a family may miss their graduates name being called. Yeah right. This is a school that prided itself for years on being the only one that allowed flip flops as part of the dress code. The Teachers working Security did remember to look mean as they whispered "not yet, wait till the end" to the kids with the beach balls they were surreptitiously blowing up under their gowns during the final speech. Oh and for some reason the announcers kept pausing in between names ; )

This event marks another milestone in this journey I know will end before long. There will be change. But for now I hold on to this in the same way I hold on to those impromptu hugs and gentle leanings into my shoulders.

Last night I had my favorite. My family all together and enjoying our own company. The noise and ruckus they create as a group always makes me happy.  My three daughters talking and laughing together. They are all big but I still hear the sound of running, laughter and shouts as they tussle. Middlest threatening Biggest to stay out of the corners on her cake, they were hers. But letting DecentGuy have one because he gave her a bass. Biggest and Littlest having a showdown between kick boxing and Jujitsu to see who was toughest. Middlest finally wondering, "How come I never learned to fight?" It's a good question. She answered it herself. "That's ok, I can just disregard situations until they go away". True. I think the fact that this situation not only did not go away but reached completion has floored her. She looked dazed as they handed her the diploma and she looked lost for a moment meandering off the stage. I felt a little lost myself. How did I get here? Where will we go next?
I guess it doesn't matter where or how. We will go together. Even if someday we are not physically in the same spot. I know. Wherever they are they I will feel them lean in and rest against my heart.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved


  1. Boooooooohooooooooohoooooooo! Thanks for making me cry!I'm so happy for her. I don't think kids really understand what a blessing it is to pass this phase in life. Or let's just say I didn't understand.No fair, you didn't say if you cried. I'm gonna cry so bad they're gonna think I'm at a funeral. You have the right to brag! Your baby(middle)girl dressing with some dignity! Ha!

  2. "How did I get here? Where will we go next?"

    That pretty much sums up life! All these sudden, big moments.

    I love reading about your family.

  3. How lovely. I can't decide where I come down on the issue of the saving seats/ stealing seats. I'm all in favour of bribery, though. Congratulations.

  4. I can just see you beaming with pride here. Congrats on your daughter's graduation and on that special bond that your family has.

    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog.

  5. Stop it.

    You're killing me.

    IT's all rushing by much too fast.

    Mine are 16, 14, and 9.

    And I keep saying, "have I hugged them enough? Have I said I love you enough. Have I been with them enough.

    Oh, why don't we treasure the days they're little instead of rushing through the day to get them to bed so we can be on our own.

    What is the matter with us????

  6. One day they graduate kindergarten and the next, high school. Gawd the time flies, doesn't it! Congratulations to the Graduate... and to the Mom that helped her get there!

  7. Help Mama: Nicole: I started to cry a few times but then got so caught up I forgot to finish! I didn't want to miss a moment.

    mamamash: I know it sums up just about everyday of my life! Even in the little moments, like when they spill cereal all over the floor and leave it there ; )

    Bibliomama: Allison, I was on the it was rude side. A majority were on the other until the 2cd family also didn't stand up for a Veteran of the Korean war who was getting an honorary diploma. They were Aholes.

    mom2kiddoes: Yeah I turn those brights on every chance I get because it isn't dark around here often ; )And You're welcome!

    Empress: I know. I'm not a huggy person. I didn't want anyone touching me when I was a teenager so I was surprised when mine never stopped snuggling. But it is a priceless treasure.

    Ms. A: Like a turtle with rockets under his shell. It always seems like one or the other.

  8. oh goodness. you. can. not. write these posts just when i am getting my dot. ::sniff::sniff:: geez.

    i am not a snuggler, but a little lean on my mama's shoulder now and again is more than good, it's necessary.

    i feel your celebration. not really about graduating per se though, is it? more about love and family and a little head lean now and again.

  9. Wow, what a wonderful day! Congrats to Middlist and to all of you.

  10. This is a stunningly beautiful post. The love pops right off the page, Mama!

  11. Elissa: Exactly : ) The head leans top it all!

    AE: Thanks, it was something : )

    Linda: Thank you. They try their best but I adore'em anyway ; )

  12. Fantastic! What a great day...and what a great school: allowing flip flops! Whoot whoot!

  13. Loved this post. Congratulations to Middlest, and best of luck with whatever comes next. I'm dumbstruck by the speed with which all this is hurtling toward me, getting all sappy at the littlest's middle school ceremony, wondering how I'll manage not sobbing through oldest's graduation next year - assuming we can get him to pass all his classes, but that's another story....
    Anyway, congratulations, and thanks for sharing this day with us. Wonderful writing, as always.

  14. Sandra: This school would allow bikini's if the school board would let them get away with it.

    Mel:It does go fast. Know what you mean with the grades. That's the boat we were sailing in this year!

  15. congrats mama grounded! it has been so long since i have been here and commented. as i was reading this it absolutely moved me to tears. i know you are uber proud of middlest. as you are all of them. yay on the bass and the diploma!

  16. Congrats on getting one closer to out of the nest.

  17. Darn it, this post made me tear up! The memories we capture with our hearts are the ones that stay with us forever. When you mentioned biggest leaning on your shoulder, I thought of my little granddaughter, only 20 months old, who does the same thing. Every time she leans in for a side hug, I swear my heart swells up a'la Grinch. Congratulations to Middlest!

  18. Loco YaYa: Good to see you! Yes, she graduated, so now she is perfectly qualified and equipped to be a street musician ; )

    Mrs. Tuna: YaHOOO !! to that!!

    Living:I know, it always floors me. I'm afraid to move : )


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