The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Highest Distinction

on May 30, 2013

b_gradYesterday I whined about mentioned that part of our frantic busyness lately included a graduation.  The graduation of our second child and oldest daughter. Above is our little graduate in all her glory.  I must say I couldn’t be any more proud of our little girl.  Three years ago at her brother’s graduation ceremony she leaned over to me and said, “Mom I’m going to wear one of those white robes.”  The white robes are worn by the kids graduating with highest distinction: extra AP  and foreign languages classes.  She also had her eyes set on the gold ropes: top ten percent of the class.  As evidenced above: she did it. She ranked number 6 in her class and never got lower than an A in high school (or any school for that matter.) She’s always been like that: set her mind on something and you may as well give it up because she is going to do it.  Thankfully thus far she has always set her mind on good things.  I’d hate to think of the wars we’d have had if she had not.  We had enough wars getting through the “good stuff” while trying to keep her from killing herself in the process.  WE had a lot to celebrate!

Somewhere in my head I thought this graduation was going to be easier.  After all I didn’t have to clean a house or landscape a yard like before.  We held her party in the garage of the home where she has been living for the last few months. Her gracious “other parents” are amazing people and opened the use of their home to us.  She also picked a simple menu.  She didn’t want “normal” graduation fare.  Nope.  Not our girl.  She wanted dips: nacho, spinach, salsa….you get the drift.  Simple, right?  Sure is until you have to mix them all up on the day of the party.  She also decided she wanted mini cupcakes instead of a normal graduation cake.  No problem.  Cupcakes are easy.  Until you get to number 500.  Then they are annoying.  On top of that was the simple task of storing and transporting them the 100 miles to her party.  But this was a party for our graduating daughter so we muscled on.  She really hadn’t made any requests that were unreasonable.  She even came home the week before and helped bake her own cupcakes and make her own special chocolates.  A mom can’t ask for anything more than that.

Because of our job schedules we couldn’t make it up until the Friday before her graduation.  I must say I shed many a tear the week before knowing that I was unable to go to her baccalaureate or final awards night but she never complained.  She wouldn’t complain if I asked her to.  That’s just how she is.  It was with great joy we rolled into town on Friday to get our party weekend started.  Our oldest son drove across the state to join us in celebrating his little sister’s achievements.  We hadn’t all been together since the last night we spent together in our former house.  It made my mother’s heart happy to see all my kids together again acting like the genuine goofballs I have raised them to be.  We got ready for the party and swam in the hotel pool.  We just hung out and had some fun.  It was wonderful.

Sunday was the big day.  Thankfully our daughter had texted me following her graduation practice earlier in the week: “Mom they may make you stand up when they announce my name for highest distinction.”   My reply:  “Why? I didn’t do anything.”  Her reply: “Well…DUH! You are my parents!”  Me: “So?  We didn’t graduate with highest distinction.”  Her: “Well no but YOU’RE MY PARENTS! You had something to do with it”  ‘Okay’, I thought, ‘so I’ll stand.’  And I did.  With tears in my eyes and pride clogging my throat.  I did manage to make it through the ceremony without breaking down, a point my oldest son was proud to point out for me.  “Gee Mom.  You cried when I graduated.  You must be getting better at this.”  Stinky kid.

Formalities done we went on to party.  A hot pink and zebra striped party to be exact. (Which reminds me…if you would like to host a party with zebra napkins and pink and black plates and utensils let me know.  I’ll ship them to you.  With some mini-cupcakes in zebra liners.)  We saw friends we hadn’t seen for a while.  Our families drove up and joined us, which was a little surreal considering we live by them all now.  We talked and laughed and ate. It was a great day and one that I hope honored our little honor graduate.  One I hope she will remember for the rest of her life.  We celebrated until the rain started and the clock warned us it was time to be done.  Exhausted, we all pitched in to return our friends’ home into some semblance of order.   After the last of the mess was cleaned and everything was packed back into vehicles to head home we all gathered for last goodbyes.  As I stood in our friends’ kitchen and watched my kids give each other one more giant group hug I realized something.  I have some truly great kids.  I also realized that my daughter’s text from earlier that week was true: we are their parents.  we had something to do with it. That will forever be our “Highest Distinction”.

**Even if they usually act like this…. (No they aren’t looking at anything.  They just wanted to look “up” because they were tired of pictures.)



2 responses to “Highest Distinction

  1. That is just amazing! This story had me tearing up and I’m not even her mom!! It’s just so nice to hear great things about kids! You did one heck of a job parents!!!

  2. Janelle says:

    Congratulations, to your daughter and to you! Goofy kids are the best:)

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