Saturday, May 5, 2012

All Out Of Proud

Today was graduation day.  Two of my favorite young men walked across the stage to receive their degrees.  I went prepared.  I had a jacket for when I got cold, a nice dress to match the occasion, nude polished nails, and most importantly waterproof mascara for when I would inevitably cry.  In order to get to my old undergrad institution on time I woke up at 7am to get dressed and straighten my hair.  I then grabbed some breakfast in the form of strawberry banana cottage cheese with flax and chia seeds.


Then I hopped in the car and drove up north.  I got to Clay’s frat house right on time and the whole crew walked to the fine arts terrace for the outside ceremony.  Clay found the rest of his department and his family and I hunkered down in the massive sea of spectator chairs.  We had a decent view of the graduates as they entered.


Several minutes and two keynote speakers later, the graduates getting their Masters degree stood up to have their degrees conferred on them.  Joshua was somewhere in the sea of yellow hoods.  I can’t believe he has a Masters degree now!


Next up was the conferral of the baccalaureate degrees.


Clay got his degree at this point.  There was lots of clapping.  After the whole outdoor ceremony Clay’s whole wonderful family posed for a picture. They were all so proud of him.


We all walked down campus to another locale for the actual departmental ceremony.  Thankfully Clay and Joshua were in the same college so it was a one stop shop for me.  Because by this point it was past lunch time and we all hadn’t eaten since breakfast we snacked on popcorn.


Joshua crossed the stage first.


Then Clay crossed much later.  He decided to “Tebow” on the stage and we all kind of giggled.


Also, as an added bonus for me, a bunch of younger kids that I knew from my years in swing club were graduating today too.  One such lovely lady was Kari.  I was beyond excited to see her get her degree.


Finally the ceremony finished and we went to meet up with the awesome graduates.  I found Clay first and after a big hug we snapped a picture.  I couldn’t have been more proud.  He has grown into such a wonderful person.


I remember graduating high school and getting a picture with him at that point.  I sadly don’t have that picture for historical reference but I can tell you we have both changed a ton.  One thing we did in high school that we didn’t do today was get dessert at The Cheesecake Factory.  Too bad.  After another hug I went in search of Kari.  I found her fairly quickly, thankfully.


She is such a great woman.  I can’t wait to see what she does with her life.  Joshua was my next search and destroy mission.  I figured out later that he was hiding outside.


We ended up leaving the graduation craziness and walked back to our cars.  I then followed Joshua to his parent’s house for a party of sorts.  There weren’t too many of us, literally just his family, his wife’s family, and me, but we all had a nice time.  I ate a late lunch with the boys out on the porch.  On my plate: pasta salad (I added some relish on top), peanut butter coconut curry pork-chicken meatballs, cheese ball/jalapeno havarti/sundried tomato swiss with crackers, and black olive & feta pita chips.


A bit later for dessert I had some triple chocolate cake dip with vanilla wafers and animal crackers.  It was delish!


We chatted and lazed on the porch swing until just after dinner time when I took my leave and drove on down home.  At this point I lost it.  I literally got in the car, drove a few miles, and started crying.


I was overwhelmed with pride in my boys (and my girls too) but mostly I hit the wall because I’m afraid of them both moving away.  I don’t feel like I’m ready for this.  I kind of miss them already.  I tried to cheer myself up by doing a bit of shopping before I got home.  I ended up with a pair of cute formal, clinic worthy capris and a few shirts/light cardigans.  It helped my mood a bit but what really did it was coming home and finding this cute Dear Blank, Please Blank:


Being the silly geek that I am, I of course had to try it…and it was super adorable.  I think I was actually more impressed that I remembered enough high school math to pull this off unassisted!


And now I’m off to sleep this day off.  I am exhausted from the emotions today.  I am all out of proud for the time being.  I need to replenish my stores.  Tomorrow morning should help too because it is parish breakfast time!

Questions: Did someone you love graduate this spring?
What facets of a person make you the most proud?


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