…that is, the last one I attended for the high school I taught at for the past seven years!
Faculty at my high school are required to attend graduation. Although many of us usually grumble about it for weeks leading up to it, when it arrives, most of us enjoy being there. Especially those of us who are close to so many of the students.
Graduations are a time to reflect and a time to celebrate. It’s always a trip to see how excited family members are when their child, sibling, grandchild, etc. walks across the stage. As many times as our administration requests that the audience holds their applause until every name has been called, people cannot restrain their emotions. From clapping to screaming to glittery signs to noisemakers, pride is apparent everywhere I look.
I am probably closer to this graduating class than any other- I taught many of these kiddos as ninth graders who were struggling to find their way and a lot of them again as tenth and eleventh graders. Seeing them now as adults astonishes me- how did they all grow up so fast?
Beyond a few runs here and there, mostly when Lula was napping, this was my first adventure away from her and it was pretty hard to leave!
I almost cried but once I got in the car and onto the highway, I became extremely excited to see my students.
I am so glad I went! It was a wonderful night and seeing all of the beautiful, happy faces of my “kids” was priceless. I waited around after the ceremony to say hello and congratulations to a number of my students and although some jokingly chided me about leaving them, many were thoughtful enough to ask how I was doing and where Lula was!
This graduation was different from ones I have attended in the past- beyond the fact that I have resigned from teaching, this is the first one I have attended as a mother. Seeing all of the proud parents in the audience and thinking back to my own high school graduation and how proud my parents were of me puts things in a different perspective.
This ceremony helped me understand how hard it is to see your children grow up- so fast- and that in some ways, high school graduation culminates the end of childhood. Someday, Lula will be stepping across that stage, her childhood over, most of her life before her. Just another reminder to cherish, as much as a person can, each day that I spend with my girl.
I drove home with a smile plastered on my face!
Have a great weekend everyone!