New Chapters

It’s happening in my house again.

Another kid is moving on.

And while this time it’s only promoting to high school, in my bones I can feel a shift.

My babies are growing up. And I am so very proud.

My daughter will stand proud this evening in her promotion robe, along with her bestest friend since they were babies.

And then they will  move on.

I will write about it, once the dust settles. Once I catch my breath at the quickness of those nine years of school.

But for today I share again what it was like last year at this time…when Pomp and Circumstance filled my heart.

 

Pomp and Circumstance

I almost don’t recognize him as he walks down the hallway from his bedroom.

Long black gown adorned with honor cords; black cap and 2011 tassel in his man-sized hands.

He’s ready to go.

His graduation is the end-result of spelling tests and learning cursive; of sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the rug and using his listening ears.

Of years of group projects, PowerPoint presentations, and cramming for finals; of early-morning alarm clocks and the pounds of heavy books he carried on his back.

And while somewhere deep inside me I can feel the tears, as he stands before me now I just feel pride.

The tears can wait for now.

Truth be told, there were tears earlier in the day. Pre-emptive tears, shed while dusting the family pictures and feeling mournful of the little boy smiling back at me from the frames.

I offer him a ride to the school, so we won’t have too many cars there when the ceremony is over.

Always logical, this mom.

The first time I left him in this parking lot, I watched him walk in with his backpack loaded and new shoes, ready to take whatever high school was ready to throw his way.

I can’t help but watch him as he walks in for the last time.

Walking tall and proud, in his gown.

Now he’s ready to go.

An hour later I sit in the football stadium, the dull roar of family and friends surrounding me. People have made banners and signs; hold bouquets of flowers and balloons for their graduates.

I hold nothing but my breath.

The band cues up the traditional Pomp and Circumstance song and far across the field I see the line of graduates begin filing in.

Gold gown, then black; girl, then boy.

Over five hundred of them, but there’s only one I’m looking for in the crowd.

At least one hundred students march towards their seats until I see him enter the stadium.

I bite my lip to catch myself from crying as I stare at this young man who used to hold my hand to cross the street; who wore footie jammies and loved mac and cheese.

Confident and proud, he carries himself around the corner and down the row to his seat.

The obligatory speeches follow, a medley of songs sung, the national anthem applauded.

And then, the names.

Over five hundred names. Air horns blow, cowbells clang, family and friends scream.

His row stands and begins their walk towards the podium.

More cheers, more cowbell.

And finally, they call it.

The name I wrote on that card in the hospital seventeen years ago.

There he is, my baby boy.

And he’s ready to go now.

Comments

  1. Congratulations on the graduation =) I’ve never heard it called a promotion before!

  2. “The name I wrote on that card in the hospital…” chills. Congratulations on moving on again. xo

  3. My son is promoting today as well.

    I cried at his preschool graduation.

    I cried at his 5th grade culmination (although why they use the word “culminate” when the kids are ten, I’ll never know).

    I will not cry today. These past few months of middle school have put us through the wringer (academically and emotionally for the first time).

    So I am eager to be done with this past stage and for a new one to begin. I’m actually looking forward to a fresh start.

    For the first time.
    Which is a good thing, I suppose.

    (Although I don’t want to wish struggle on my kids in the future just so that their mother is at ease with their aging…ha!)

    Either way, Congratulations, my friend.
    To her and to you.

    To all of us.

  4. Congratulations to your one and only Kelly! Loved the photo you posted on Facebook of her and her bestie. 🙂

    I love rereading about Michael’s milestone again.

    Much love to you. xoxo

  5. Ohmyheart, this is stunning (as always).

    My tears are flowing freely, which really isn’t new, but lovely, friend – pure lovely.

  6. sigh.

    it’s all I can muster as my older boy is potty training and playing alphabet games on my nook while my younger boy learns that he has hands that can grab toys.

    just. sigh.

  7. I remember reading this last year and relating as our middle child went through the same thing. We have two left in high school out of our five. Transitions. Moving on. Life. No one ever said it would be easy or that it wouldn’t hurt, right?

  8. I remember loving that graduation post.

    I’m grateful that my daughter’s hippie preschool didn’t do a ‘graduation’. I would have been a mess.

    It was hard enough watching her hand her teacher a flower and give her a hug goodbye.

  9. Oh my friend, my heart is so full with your words. Congrats and love to you 😉

  10. Sherri I am bawling. You are so excellent at capturing time in a bottle. Xo friend!!!

  11. I remember this post the first time around. I sent it to my husband, and we both teared up. Little boys. Big boys.

    Time marches, doesn’t it?

  12. Why does time have to keep marching on! Beautiful!

  13. Beautifully written! My daughter will complete the same rite of passage next year, and I can bet my feelings then will mirror yours now.

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