Let’s go back to graduation.
What’s that you say? Not the right graduate?
I know, I know, it’s all about Claire these days, but TODAY is that boy’s birthday.
The boy who made me a mother.
The boy who made my heart want to burst. And still does.
The boy who puts up with all his sisters.
The boy who chose such an awesome wife we all love.
So I did a whole separate post about him to post today as well.
Check it out HERE.
But, since I want to wrap up graduation before summer is in full swing, let’s talk about Claire too.
Because it happened.
She’s a graduated girl.
One more digression before we delve in.
Because look at this darlingness:
This is Claire with her two second-cousins (who we just call cousins:) back at their Joy School graduation years ago:
We had to do a little recreation of that picture because they’re still here, together, and we love them so:
(We have looked forward to doing that for a long time:)
Ok, so here we go:
On May 26th my friend and I lugged all our stuff over to the school when the gates opened to save some spots in the bleachers for the big graduation ceremony.
It was 107 that day. A real wing-dinger.
The family all joined in (along with thousands of other people), and we all crammed in there and everything turned into a sweat-bowl (!) as the sun dropped:
(That picture was taken before Dave’s parents arrived.)
And then the bagpipes came in, followed by all those graduates (I think 800)…
And we sat and watched the sky shift and change…
…those gradient colors melding together as such a beautiful backdrop for the graduates.
We listened to good music and good words.
Followed by the announcement of all those graduates.
Including our own:
The FOURTH to walk that stage.
To take that diploma.
To get ready to fly away from home.
The fireworks signaled the end of the ceremony and the tossing of the hats and we made our way down into that hot mess of commotion on the field:
Trying to find everyone amidst the masses of kids jumping into pictures and crying and laughing and trying to hold on to those last minutes of high school togetherness.
The cousins from the Joy School pic at the top of the post:
Volleyball seniors minus one:
The dearest of friends:
We pretty much closed down the field.
And I walked away so empty.
This day was hard for me.
But it was weird how I could feel so empty yet at the same time so full of love for all of the experiences each of my children who have walked that stage have had at that school.
For all the teachers, all the friends, all the coaches, all the ups and downs that high school brings. Grateful for the counselor that helped us get through our semester in China (transferring credits). Grateful for the principal who has done so much for that place (and for the new principal coming in who was Lucy’s principal in junior high). For the lessons learned from being left out, for the late-night papers that they have learned so much from, for their friends’ parents who helped raise them.
And I’m grateful I still have one more to walk those halls, and to learn so many lessons from that experience. How I pray she will be enveloped in goodness as she makes her way.
Congrats on a job well-done Claire Bear!