I know that I have been somewhat absent for a little while. My prescence here has declined greatly over the last couple of weeks and for a little while, I was only really responding to PMs and giving posts a quick-read, just to try and keep up. I sincerely hope that while I've been scarce, that everyone's doing as well as they can be doing. While I've been thinking of my friends here while keeping busy offline, the reason for my decreased activity is indeed a good one.
There is now a high school graduate in the house! That colicky, fusspot of a little boy that I rocked to sleep every single night for the first several months of his life, has now officially completed the twelfth grade. I do admit to stealing the title of this entry from a shot-glass at the Christmas Tree Shop. But I believe it, completely! It amazes me how much WORK was involved getting him to this point, to get him across this particular milestone. How many times he'd gotten frustrated, how many times he's expressed his hatred toward school. There have been countless projects, book reports, science fairs, visits to the school nurse on the days he'd faked sick because he wanted to go home, (the elementary school nurse and I were on a first-name basis) parent-teacher conferences, two previous graduations (from elementary and junior high) trips, and HOMEWORK. The homework, is of course, in caps simply because I have six more years of homework woes to endure as the Daughter will be entering 7th grade at the end of the summer and through her, it will all continue...she and her brother are SO different, in personality, in movie, music and food tastes, but when it comes to homework, they're the same. BOTH of my children dread it and do the bare minimum - it's the only complaint I've gotten from both of their teachers whenever the time comes for me to visit their schools for parent night. "Your son/daughter is an absolute delight to have in class (I'd make sure at this point they were talking about the right kid) however, he/she is missing x amount of homeworks..." Then the wasband and I would have to remove any and all electronics for x amount of time - one day per homework missed was ideal...this way, while they MADE UP the missed assignment, there would be absolutely no distractions.
But for my son, it paid off. My only hope is that he feels the same way - and that as he embarks upon a new journey (college), he sees that all of the hard work he's done up until the present time has been worth it.
The big day was Thursday. On the way to the ceremony, I looked at him while stopped at a red light. He was dressed in his shirt and tie, had on his cap and gown, he looked so damn handsome!
"Hey," I nudged him, "I want you to know that I'm so proud of you."
"Thanks, Ma." I could tell he was trying not to show his nervousness. He fiddled with his tie, scratched underneath the cap, (those things are itchy) and chewed on his nails.
"I also want to apologize in advance for the ugly cry you're probably going to see when you walk across that stage."
Then there was that grin I love so much, followed by a light chuckle, "That's okay, Ma!"
Surprisingly, the ugly cry happened AFTER the ceremony and tossing of the graduation caps (as well as the frantic relocation of aforementioned cap with attached tassel) when he descended the stairs leading from the school building...carrying in one hand his diploma and using the other to unzip the deep purple gown so he could free himself from the confines of the graduation robe he'd had to wear for the last three hours in a sweltering gymnasium. Twelve years of school (fourteen, if you count pre-school and Kindergarten) finished in the blink of an eye! That brought on the tears and I couldn't hide my emotions long enough. I got a look of horror from the Daughter, who I'm sure, pretended she didn't know me for a full sixty seconds, the usual narrow-eyed wince from Constipa-Face (I expected no less from someone who has not a single sensitive bone in his body) and the "there she goes!" from someone else, possibly Mrs. Constipa-Face.
The Son, though, gave me a hug. I kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear, "wait til your next and final graduation...if you think I'm bad now, I'll be a hot mess, THEN!!"
Lucky for us all, I have another four years. Now I've got to get around the fact that he'll graduate college before his sister even finishes High School...
And then, to the Daughter, I said, "You just wait, too...when YOU graduate, I'll be crying even HARDER, and I'll make sure there are honking noises when I blow my nose...JUST for you, my darling...and even better, still - you're the spitting image of your Mama, so you won't be able to hide..."
She groaned. Serves her right for making fun of her mother, doesn't it?
I'm sure I'll be ugly-crying AGAIN when his senior picture proofs arrive. He took them two days before graduation and I'm expecting those to arrive in about two to three weeks.
Then, two days after the graduation, I had forty people show up to my house (would have been at least six to seven more people, but I had a few last-minute cancellations) and although I had Oompa staying here for a few days to help out, I certainly got in my exercise...just within my own home. I lost count of how many times I went up and down the stairs, how many trips I made from the kitchen sliders/upper deck to the newly-set concrete slab one story below. By the time the night was over on Saturday, I was ready to collapse in exhaustion; my feet were KILLING me and I had some unpleasant chafing in an even more uncomfortable place.
This morning, I felt a ton better, both physically and mentally - Oompa left early this morning (but not before expressing any and everything that disappointed her at one point or another...while Constipa-Face is good for nothing less than a daily dose of disapproval, my mother takes first place in every single woe-is-me contest that there ever was - even the imaginary ones) and will be gone until the Daughter's birthday, which is in two weeks. I spent the day with my father, who leaves tomorrow morning and will return for the next party, which is going to be held at the wasband's house. And since the wasband has effectively demonstrated that it's NORMAL to show up an hour after the party has started, I may demonstrate my own learning abilities by doing the same thing. (I say 'MAY' only because my Daughter will likely suffer the consequences of my being purposely tardy; and that's not fair to her at ALL.) Who am I kidding? I'll be there on time if not a little bit early - at least my kids will know I'm reliable while their father is not.
I will be spending the next two weeks attempting to get back that feeling of normalcy and calm - the amount of stress that I've had on my plate was at an all-time high and the lowering of my blood pressure is a vital, necessary thing.
I'll be posting another update shortly - for now, another good nights' sleep is in order as the recuperation process has begun.
Sending lots of hugs and love to you all - I've missed everyone!!!