I didn't cry. Oh, I teared up a bit (or a lot), but there was no witnessed spillage, which was a good thing because I was the only one among my friends to bring kleenex and I quickly ran short. Nothing at all like the bloodbath that was Gumby's Sixth Grade graduation last year. That, my friends, was brutal.
As much as I've made about this being the end of an era, I think part of my fear came from the memories of last year. It wasn't just their teacher - the same one this year - having to turn her back to the audience because she was crying so hard. It wasn't just that I cried buckets that night, both in the auditorium and once I got home. It wasn't even the unbelievable sweetness of Surfer Dude when he saw how emotional I was. No, it wasn't really any of those things. It was uncertainty, it was stress, it was an almost paralyzing fear. I sat there and watched Gumby graduate, knowing that in a matter of days my husband would be moving out and I would be on my own for the first time in twenty something years. I was terrified, and I vividly remember thinking, "If I can just make it through until Surfer Dude graduates, it will be okay. In a year I'll be in a much better place. In a year my life will be good."
And all of those things are true. Every morning when I wake up I say a little thank you for where I am today. Every night before I go to sleep I run through my gratitude list, and always on there is the fact that I am where I am now and not where I was then.(And by then, I don't just mean last Spring). There aren't enough riches in the world to make me go back to where we were then, and I'm quite certain I'm not the only one to feel this way. Even my kids seem calm and in a good place.
So tonight when I felt the tears starting, I inexplicably broke into a smile. Even though I had teased Sasquatch, threatening to use his shirt as a tissue if the waterworks started, I stayed relatively at ease through the entire process. I sat in a row with my two non-graduating kids (whom I had forced to come) and their father, surrounded by friends, and focused on all the amazing possibilities.
It's not an ending at all. It's all just starting.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM