It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
22 years ago at this time, I was counting down the days to my 8th grade graduation.
It was a pretty big deal. Catholic school, so I was with the same 50 kids from 1st-8th grade, day in and day out. Graduation was a real change from what we knew; a true sending out into the world. (I don’t recall my high school graduation having the same sort of emotional impact— I was just relieved to be out of there.)
Jake is graduating 8th grade this June, only they don’t do a graduation. To him, it’s not a big deal, which makes me sad. 8th grade graduation was one of the few days where I really felt… important. Like I was going to do great things.
So even if he is content to pass from 8th grade to high school without any fuss, I’m pulling my Mom card on this one. He’s sending out graduation cards. We are going to commemorate this moment, this landmark, where he officially ceases to be my little boy and becomes an obnoxious teenager.
It’s a rite of passage, for him, for me. I don’t want it to go unmarked. I don’t have any photos of myself at graduation (I think I even read at the Mass, I may have even received an award of some sort- I’m pretty sure I did- really it’s shameful); this one came courtesy of a friend on Facebook.
I didn’t know the value it would hold for me, remembering who I was and how I felt at that moment.
So I asked him to look at the graduation announcements over at Tiny Prints; they’ve certainly come a long way from the simple black-ink-on-cream-cards or blue-ink-on-white-cards that I recall. I got all choked up looking at them. (Yes, I know that’s dumb. I don’t know when doing stuff like looking at graduation cards became something that triggered my tear ducts, but it happened.)
Look how lovely and official.
Dang! President of National Honor Society!
And… here is what my son put together.
Yes, that’s a bear shark.
It’s a work in progress. I’ll show you the final cut on his last day of junior high.
Is this going to get easier… or harder as I go through it with Maverick and Cassidy?
Why did my son have to have the same thick skin and bizarre sense of humor that I did at 14?
What did I do to deserve that?
Who said they were allowed to grow up?