Getting To Graduation Day Only Slightly Unhinged

I started “writing” this blog (thanks to voice to text on my cell phone) while driving back from Tallahassee yesterday. And before anyone starts accusing me of improper use of a vehicle, I promise both hands remained on the wheel and both eyes on the road the entire time.

Trust me, it was much safer than having me rocking it out at the top of my lungs to 70s and 80s music with some occasional Broadway tunes through in for good measure since I can easily get lost in the lyrics.happy-quotes-1753-520x245

Anyway, I was there for a few days while my daughter was filming her senior thesis at FSU, just a few days after my son graduated from high school and less than a week after returning from the experience I shared in my previous blog about Camp Jenny.

Yeah, it has been a crazy busy time.

I had actually been thinking about this week’s blog ever since the curtain rose at Ruth Eckerd Hall last Thursday evening while “Pomp and Circumstance” was played by the high school band and 178 boys young men sat on the stage in their tuxedos (they wore the traditional cap and gown the night before at the Baccalaureate service at school)

…in perfectly lined up rows

…hands strategically placed on top of each of their thighs

…looking straight out at the filled to capacity audience comprised of family, friends and faculty (by the way, my husband did lose the bet about how filled it would get…when will he learn?)

…with the most serious of expressions on every one of their faces

So, call me crazy but… I am getting chills sitting here now thinking about it. It was such a dramatic sight. Everyone gasped and then erupted into applause and a lot of cheering.

I was there with my husband, father, sister and brother in law. And we are admittedly a somewhat cynical and sarcastic bunch (I know shocking). But that moment? Seriously, it took our breath away.

Sadly, my daughter missed it. She started production earlier that day. Truth be told, I didn’t know I should have been prepared to videotape the moment.

Well, that’s not really true.

As a parent, I should always be ready. And with the release of Periscope for  Android last week, I definitely had no excuse and should have streamed it live for not only her but also for my brother and his family out in California.

That, of course, would have required me to know that Periscope for Android had been released.

Sigh…

I did manage to get a photo, albeit a very blurry one, of the scene and immediately sent it to my daughter. The school’s photographer, thankfully, got a much better shot that will go where all other photos go these days…into my Google Photos account hoping to make it into a to be created online album.jesuit graduation

Source: Jesuittampa.com

 My son is in the second row from the top on the left, first seat off the middle aisle. Fortunately I found that out prior to the ceremony or I would have spent the entire time looking for him.

Then again, they were sitting in alphabetical order, but I probably wouldn’t have thought of that until after I spent the entire time looking for him.

Did I mention it has been a crazy busy few weeks?

To say I am proud of my son may seem like a given, however, I need to say it just the same. Yes, he graduated Cum Laude (which was revealed in the program that night and, of course, I cried) and he has been a real team player on various soccer teams for the past 14 years, but my pride goes well beyond his academic and athletic accomplishments.

Simply put, he’s a good kid. He wasn’t too happy that I had him stand outside in his tuxedo when it was 90+ degrees so we could get this photo. One day he’ll thank me or at least that is what I choose to believe.me and nathan

Some may say he didn’t start out such a “good” kid at birth. He came out screaming and really didn’t stop for the first 3 or 4 years of his life. I am talking ear piercing, never ending stuff.

You know it’s bad when even the grandparents don’t want to be around.

He was, though (in my opinon) a really cute baby… 10

But that screaming?

Painful.

He also didn’t sleep, eat and, forgive me if it may seem like “TMI”, poop. I mean he did a little of each, but not nearly enough of what the average baby was supposed to do.

As a result, I never ate, I never slept and well the third thing…use your imagination. Suffice to say, I became slightly unhinged (by my definition) and it certainly didn’t help an already troubled marriage.

We took him to every specialist in town and while we were grateful there was nothing seriously wrong with him from a physiological standpoint…or at least not via an official diagnosis…it was, nevertheless, a very emotionally draining situation.

Come on moms with difficult children, fess up! You know you relate to this…c09f5d03d153650c1c7614c8bdb71126One close friend who happens to be a pediatric development specialist told us at the time that some kids have a “kink in their hard wiring” when they are born and it just takes a few years to work it out of their system.

Ummmmm…that was all fine and wonderful to hear but going through those years???

OMG!

She was, of course, right because he is now capable of sleeping until mid-afternoon, eating more than his body weight on any given day (or so it seems) and, well, again use your imagination about the third issue.

We never really know what we are going to get when we make the decision to bring a living, breathing human being into the world. I’ve had friends and family who have breezed through the childhood years while others have dealt with everything from some typical teenage rebellion and minor learning disabilities to autism, cancer, mental illness, drug and/or alcohol addiction and even the random, unexpected and extremely tragic death of their child.

So if it meant no sleeping, eating plus that third thing and ultimately going through a divorce to come out on the other side and sit in a room of almost 2000 people knowing I have a healthy, smart, well adjusted, all around good kid heading off to college in a few weeks, ok then so be it.

One final thing, I realize it is unlikely my ex-husband will read this but I still need to put it out there that I am very grateful that he provided Nathan the opportunity to attend a private high school. I do believe it has and will continue to pay off even if he insisted on sticking out his tongue in graduation pictures.20150527_212544 (1)

I guess boys will always be boys.

That’s it for now…#BlackerOut

 

 

 

 

 

33 Comments

Filed under Call Me Crazy, Motherhood, Parenting

33 responses to “Getting To Graduation Day Only Slightly Unhinged

  1. Nice. I remember one acquaintance from way back when our kids were little who had been a stern school teacher, hard on the parents whose kids were not always well-behaved. Once when her own very badly behaved, very spoiled son and she were in a mall and son was having a tantrum, she ran into one of those moms from her teaching days. Mom said, “Well, Mrs. B, I’m glad to see that you got yours!”

    Congratulations on your son’s great graduation!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was given the opportunity to be the first to like this blog. I love it and as you already know, I love your writing style, crazy lifestyle and look forward to not having to really learn something from your blog. As a mom, I can totally relate and will soon be going to our oldest grandson’s graduation. He too is graduating #2 in his class & going off to Cornel. I had to throw this in because I will never write about his special day unless I plagiarize & take yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE your blogs. And, yes, someday he will consider your essays as precius keepsakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The joys of motherhood! Love how you share about yours, Beth. My daughter was 8 weeks premature and didn’t sleep until she was two. She breastfed every two hours for an hour at a time. I had the pleasure of writing about this in my book, “Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie”, so I get how wonderful it is to share it with others. And yes, my daughter is now capable of sleeping until mid-afternoon, given the opportunity as well. Enjoyed reading about your crazy weeks, your memories of your son’s childhood while watching him graduate high school and your wild and crazy life experiences. Life is grand indeed! Thanks for the always fun reads…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow.. crap.. it doesn’t help finding him when they are all wearing the same thing and what appears to be.. like miles away. Heck I knew my daughter was in alpha order and was a little closer and knew what shoes to look and her bobbing blonde curls (but then again, guys.. all look similar).. but that was still a challenge.. I think I found another girl that I thought was her.. until I really found her. LOL Exhilarating as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations Beth! I loved your story and reflecting on the baby that was to the fantastic young man he has become. May his college days be filled with greatness and even greater times that you never get to hear about (he is a college student after all).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kristy Klenk

    Loved this! If these darn kids would just stop growing up, we wouldn’t have to pause and realize how quickly time is passing by!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was such a great read, and lucky for me, you have so many more stories to tell! Can’t wait. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I never had the pleasure of birthing my own children but I’ve been blessed to have Jeff’s sons in my life and his ex who shares willingly! I know the sense of pride I feel when his boys accomplish their milestones but especially when I see the men they have become. Congrats to your son but also for you being the strong parent of your great son!

    Like

    • I’m sure some women would argue whether the actual “birthing” is a pleasure but I get your point Judi 🙂 Knowing you I bet you are an excellent step-mother and those boys are very lucky to have you in their lives!

      Like

  10. Sherri Frost

    I have to laugh (and call you crazy) because my daughter just graduated from UCF a few short weeks ago and it sounds a bit familiar to me 🙂

    Like

    • I’m relatively certain I am not the only mother who has been slightly “unhinged” through the years Sherri 🙂 Congrats on your daughter’s graduation from UCF and wishing her great success launching into adulthood!

      Like

  11. Great story and all I can say is “good times, good times”. They DO grow up way too fast though! And dads can relate also when another kid is having a melt down since we’ve all been there lol.
    Congrats on your son’s graduation!

    Like

  12. Allen J.Kovinsky

    Who could ever forget Nathan,age 2 or 3,lying on our carpeting,screaming as he turned blue.I never would have thought that he would turn out to be a great young man.

    Like

  13. You have every right to be proud of your son, Beth. That’s a great accomplishment. I wonder, did your parents go through the same things with you? 😉

    Like

  14. I think that, no matter which age our kids are, we have challenges – big or small. Many times the day seem so long but the years are so short! I enjoyed your wonderful post about your son, Beth! You should write a book 🙂

    Like

    • So true about the days seeming long but it does all go by in a blink of an eye. A book? Ummmm…maybe one day. I think we all have stories to tell but I don’t know if I have the strength to go through THAT process. We’ll see 🙂

      Like

  15. I enjoyed reading your life experiences, particularly your memories about your son’s childhood while watching him graduate in high school. Congratulations to your son! Let me offer my congratulations for being the proud mother.

    Like

  16. Congrats to you both! I love reading your blog posts!!

    Like

  17. I love the photo w/ you and your son. Despite your making him stand in 90+ degree weather while wearing a tux, I agree w/ you, I think he will thank you and look back on that day with a smile. My graduation day was one of the most special days of my life, and I am so grateful that my mother was there to share it with me. Your son was indeed a cute baby!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks Grace…he is still a handsome boy as far as I am concerned 😊

    Like

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