Friday, May 23, 2008

Now You See Me, Now You Don't

While this literary masterpiece is being published, I am sitting on a plastic chair in Newmentia, observing graduation from the gym floor. Amazing isn't it, how I'm here, and I'm also there. I'm a freakin' genius, I am.

Yes, graduation night has rolled around once again. I don't really like going. I don't like crowds. I feel trapped during the ceremony. But I DO like marching in to the music played by our very own high school band, and marching out to the music, and seeing kids I have worked with for 7 years graduate. This will be the last year for that, what with my relatively recent assignment solely to Newmentia. Gone are the days when I would take students under my wing in Lower Basementia, and push them out of the nest to fly on their own a mere 7 years later, ready or not. I well up in tears at the slide show of baby picture/senior picture. They have come so far. From a few pictures, you would think the kid never had a chance. And here he/she is, actually graduating, against all odds.

We sit facing the soon-to-be graduates. They have been working toward this for OH SO LONG. And now it is over, and they don't really want it to end. Some are weepy. The pride of the audience seeps into the very atmosphere of the gym, out of the pores of the parents and the grandparents, and settles onto our skin like a fine mist. Graduation is a big deal in these here parts. Some students will be the first in their family to graduate. There is standing room only, and if you want a parking space, I'd suggest getting here an hour before the ceremony.

A few of those tears well up because I think that it is not very long until MY boy will be graduating. He will be ready to move on. Me, not so much.

After we march out and rush to the office, disrobing on the way (just the graduation robes, people, don't jump to conclusions) the crowd trickles out. We stash those rented robes messily into several big cardboard boxes for return shipment, and try to beat the crowd out of the lot. I have mixed feelings. A bit of euphoria from the ceremony, and a bit of sadness that another year has passed. It doesn't last for long.

Next school year is almost over, you know.

No comments: