#1 is graduating from high school today. Even though high school for her has been kind of the opposite of butterflies and rainbows (what would that be? horseflies and hail? rabid bats and an ice age?) I am very happy for her, and even proud of her.
Allow me to say that again, in case you didn’t catch it: I AM PROUD OF HER, this #1. She is a remarkable and unique young lady. To say she’s been through a lot to reach this moment would be an understatement; I’ll leave it at that, because sometimes understated is best.
#4 had her fifth-grade promotion on Tuesday. I have to hand it to the class moms for managing to get the ceremony down to an almost reasonable time. They shaved an entire hour off and it clocked in at about an hour and a half.
I mostly cried only at the beginning when they were playing a video with pictures of the little kids all through their years at the school and one of the soundtrack songs was this abomination by Taylor Swift (I had to Google it) called Never Grow Up. Ms. Swift, you shall be held accountable; I went through two Kleenexes. At least the KISS pictures showed up during that song.
The pictures I took didn’t come out well, except for this one, which has nothing to do with anything except to remind you that Jersey Rules:
I feel like I’m supposed to mark both occasions with some kind of sage advice or at least encouraging words, even though the very thought of such a thing is hilarious to anyone who knows me.
I discovered that I have contradictory things that I want to say.
To #4: You’re beginning the most important years of your education.
To #1: After today, none of this matters anymore.
To #4: Middle School is the start of your permanent record. Your conduct is important because this follows you everywhere and can’t be undone.
To #1: There’s not much that can’t be fixed with a lot of prayer and earnest repentance. (I got this from My Jewish Friend Jason in a conversation we were having about Jews with tattoos).
To #4: You can be anything in the world that you want to be.
To #1: You can be anything in the world that you want to be. Except, probably, at this point, a ballerina or an opera singer. And also a kid who is laying around the house playing video games with no job come September. Other than that, you can be anything in the world that you want to be.
To #4: Your education is the most important thing in your life.
To #1: Your peace of mind is the most important thing in your life. Never forget that.
In the spirit of peace of mind, and being understated, I’ll be the one in the stands tonight wearing beige and keeping my mouth shut (except to yell when they call her name). I’ll be armed with dark chocolate and tissues and won’t be wearing mascara.