I have three teenage sons. My oldest son graduated 8th grade in June 2016. He “graduated” high school in June of 2020. I found this letter clip and poem in my journal, as I flipped back through my pages while I reflected on my middle son who is graduating high school tomorrow night, June 24, 2021.
Graduation Season (a very sneaky season)elicits emotions so raw and rare, I examine them. I am captive as nostalgia wakes my sleepy head, beckons me to play and to remember where I have been for the last 18 years. Although this entry is from June 2016, today’s journal entry would look almost identical. Graduation season, or week — whether it be eighth grade, high school, college, or kindergarten is always elementary. Her enchantment is bittersweet. To immerse in the sentiments surrounding your graduate, whether it be through a poem, a journal entry, or even a photo can help you to graduate too.
I take a deep breath and read the email from the middle school principal.
“Dear Eighth Grade Parents:
As spring slowly creeps upon us and the warm air takes over the area, we felt it was important to send out a reminder that Graduation will be held on Monday, June 20, 2016, and will once again be held at the High School in the auditorium and begin promptly at 6.30 pm…”
I inhale. I read on.
a minimum day.
a ceremony with limited seating, ticket rationing, and only four tickets per student.
a dance; transportation is provided.
a closed-circuit simulcast, for superfluous family members.
a diploma and shout-out,
a form to fill out; with a deadline.
a serious nature of this event.
a dress code that is modest and simple; reflecting the serious nature of this event.
a white jacket required, a bow tie required.
a jacket fitting,
a rental cost,
a representative of Formal Wear, who will take measurements.
rules: no jeans, no sneakers, no tees; or no diploma.
I inhale, close my eyes, and keep them closed.
I exhale, slump forward, and let my head fall.
My mind gently speaks to me:
“You are the Dear. It’s you, Dear.”
“You are the Eighth Grade Parent.”
“You have a Graduate.”
I think back gently to my mind:
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Yes, I am.”
“Yes, I do.”
— — — — — — — —
(to be continued, tomorrow)