Double Standards

#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:

Maternity Couture, Jersey Style.

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.

Congratulations, #1!


20 thoughts on “Double Standards

  1. Well Congratulations is due to you as well…minding the first stepchild through whatever lifebombs there were and getting her to graduating phase! every bit of help counts.
    I’m up here in rainy cold Boston today for my friends sons Orientation at Boston University. he just graduated last week…she has two to go. let your countdown begin! (typing this comment from my cellphone is unruly) so cool that you feel this deeply enough to require tissues. love that Jersey Maternity outfit. makes her look like a huntable target, tho. when is cheetah season in NJ, anyway?

  2. Congratulations to all of you! Especially #1. Even though you said that people who know you would think it ridiculous for you to mark this ocassion with sage advice, you already did that, in your own witty, unique way in this post.

    I say you should just go for it tonight. Cry the ugly cry. And don’t share that chocolate with anyone.

  3. Congratulations to both girls! Good luck with all of your beige-wearing, mouth-shutting, chocolate-eating, doing-your-best-not-to-blubber moments, tonight. You’ll do fine… and if you don’t, just bite your fist really hard and have a really big glass of wine when you get home. And hey, at least you’ve given #1 a three month warning 🙂

  4. You are an awesome mom 🙂 I also tend to break out in spontaneous Niagra-Falls-from-my-eyes episodes at the drop of a hat. My oldest starts kinder in August… (sniff, sniff)

  5. Ah, a “Shut up and wear beige” reference. It’s so nice to hear that from someone other than my gay bestie. Congratulations to #1 – high school so totally blows for like 98% of the world; I hope she finds the coming years better. That tip about peace of mind could not be more right, and it took me until my 30s to learn it, so you’ve done well to tell her now. Kudos to #4, and very sage of you with the conduct thing. And congrats to YOU, for running with the ball without a plan and doing it right.

  6. Congratulations #1!
    And #4 (if that’s what you say: kids only graduate here when they finish university – so I’m a little unsure of what is the correct approach to all this graduating palava.)

  7. 2 years and 2 terms (1 semester) to go for us until Miss O 1 graduates High School. I can feel how you feel, as I have been there before with my older children. It is a great accomplishment for #1, but never forget it is also a great accomplishment for YOU and CC!!

  8. Congratulations #1! I am reminding of the old Paul Simon song “Kodachrome” about “all the crap I learned in HS.
    Why do they “graduate” kids in lower school; I guess to middle? I just got promoted from one grade to the next at parochial school.
    Love the blog, love what an awesome stepmom you are and such a fabulous friend, but WHAT shoes did you wear?!

    1. I had to opt for this season’s trend of clashing prints because I didn’t actually have matching shoes for the beige Betsy. I did the peep toe Kate Spades with furry tiny cow print, from when I used to have disposable income.

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