Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I made it through the rain


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.

14 comments:

ped crossing said...

The end of every era is also the start of a new one. Have fun on the grand new adventure that is just starting. I am so glad that it is off to such a promising start!

Maggie May said...

Yes...... the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
I can identify with you saying...... *if I can just make it till SD graduates it will be alright*
I set myself goals like this. Sometimes, when I have reached one goal, I have to set myself another further ahead.
It is a good way to keep yourself *up together*!

Iota said...

I think they did something to those people during the checks at Ellis Island. Greased the inside of the tear ducts, maybe, in a way that was genetically passed on. You would be so amused, RC, you really would, by going to the equivalent ceremony in Britain (except there isn't one - we don't have school graduations, but some schools have open days for the whole school, not just the graduating class). Anyway, you would see a whole sea of mothers smiling bravely, and blinking hard, and maybe one or two letting the side down by sneaking out a kleenex, and pretending it was an allergy, or trouble with contact lenses.

I used to find it normal. Now I find it hilariously British. Wish I could transport you there in some kind of time/space machine. We'd have a laugh.

softinthehead said...

Glad you made it through smiling. Wait till your baby is a senior, that's me next year - where does the time go?!

Katy said...

Wow great post. You said it all so perfectly.

Mickle in NZ said...

What am incredible journey you've been on.

A new stage/passage now - reward your self please, you truly deserve it and you move on to the next......

The Gossamer Woman said...

That's the right attitude. There are always new beginnings all over the place and that's exciting. New phases in life in which each person gets to rediscover themselves. Opportunities for discoveries and revelations. New growth. That's the way to look at it.

LFG said...

In all seriousness, I always wondered why they had graduation ceremonies in elementary or Jr.High. After all, you just move from one grade to another with a change in location. Now I understand. Thanks.

Maggie said...

Good for you, Julie, good for you. You are much stronger than you know, you just needed to find it out and now you can go on. That's what I think and that's what I'm doing, goddammit!!!

Akelamalu said...

Nothing stays the same and when things are bad they invariably get better. I'm happy for you. x

Mimi said...

I'm absolutely delighted for you, and it's lovely to be thankful last thing at night.I am convinceed it leads to a good night's sleep, and really,when we have a roof over our heads and enough to eat, isn't that a good beginning. Well done for surviving tha graduation in style.

Tians.sis said...

I have come to the conclusion that,very much like myself,you hate change. That has been a hard lesson for me also,as we all know,life is nothing more than a continuous change.

Devon said...

You really are in a good place... it is something to remember when I get down that there is always an up!

Congratulations on the beginning of this new exciting adventure!

Expat mum said...

Ah - American graduations. From nursery to high school, they reduce you to a snotty, slobbering mass.
Iota hit upon the UK thing a bit - the mothers just collapsed when in the privacy of their bedrooms. I'll never forget my mother, on waving me off from the train station platform when I went off to university (18, I remind you), turning to my father and crying. I couldn't work out why she would cry?