A Post for #3

Last night I experienced one of the less cool aspects of my job: not having a sub trained in my position, and having to miss a certain 8th-grade graduation.

Sometimes because of the timing of a show’s opening in relation to the Tony awards and when Tony voters are coming to see it you can’t train a sound sub, which is at least a two-week process, for a while.

And sometimes the show gets a closing notice before that even happens. Sadly, we did get a closing notice for July 1 but that’s not what this post is about.

This post is dedicated to #3, whose 8th grade promotion I missed last night, who is attending her very last day of middle school today.

She is beautiful and she makes me laugh and I am pretty sure that neither she nor I are ready for her to be in high school yet.

I am also certain that neither her father nor I are prepared for her to look this grown up, but it’s happened.

Isn’t she lovely?

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Text exchange with her earlier this year after her field trip to the Franklin Institute:

Me: How was the field trip?

#3: Mmm the busss ride was rlly good. The actual place not so much.

Me: Oh that’s too bad- he was a really interesting dude. Guess they didn’t really bring that through?

#3: Mmm noooo maybbbe they should paint his statue pink.

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Texts we exchanged yesterday:

Me: Hope you’re enjoying your last day of middle school!

#3: the last day is tomorrow… haha but thanks

Me: Well it’s kinda silly that you have to go in after you graduate, isn’t it?

#3: yeah but we also have the pool is party 2mom.

Me: That’s worth going in for.

#3: I guess… all the guys r obsessed with one of the teachers with big boobs so now theyr even more obsessed since she’s going to the pool partyy

Me: That’s pretty much how they’re going to act for the rest of their lives.

#3: Ugh!

I was pleased to note that her text spelling has improved somewhat over this year, and that even though she still seems to have something against apostrophes, she did use more than one ellipsis.

When I came home from work Tuesday night she had just finished up a collage for one of her teachers: on a background of crazy colored and patterned tape, she had cut out and artfully arranged all her test grades for the year.

She had a bunch of writing on her arm and at first I thought it was some sort of home-made tribal tattoo. Then I thought it was a cheat sheet for a final.

“No,” she said. “I’m done with my finals. It’s the mean, median and mode of all the Facebook Likes on the pictures we put up from the 8th grade dance.”

Just in case you teachers thought they weren’t paying attention. . .

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!