The Final Countdown – 9 days to go

Today I’ve had pretty much only one thing on my mind: when did graduating from 8th grade become this huge deal?

Is it like this at other schools or just at the school my younger daughter, Nani, just graduated from? Because at her school it’s this day-long extravaganza of flowers, balloons, food, music, awards, speeches and church services.

When I “graduated” from 8th grade, I went home and watched TV.

The day started with a mass at the church (Catholic school) and was followed by an elaborate breakfast served to us by the 7th graders.

After the breakfast, many of us parents stayed at the school and cleaned up and then set up for the evening celebrations. I wasn’t out of there until early afternoon.

A few errands (get my dog’s epilepsy medicine, pick up the dry cleaning I almost completely forgot about, get four bottles of my favorite hot sauce) and it was time to go back to the house to change. Everyone changes for the evening (I learned that when my son graduated a couple of years ago).

We were back at the church a little after 6pm. Family pictures and delivery of cupcakes that my friend Lisa picked up, because I ran out of time.

The graduation speeches, awards given, etc. started at 7:00. By 7:30 I suddenly remembered that the gift I bought for one of the teachers was still sitting at the house. So I bolted out of the church and ran back to my car.

I was at the car at 7:34. And then it was like the next episode of the Fast and the Furious. In 26 minutes I made it from Hillman City to West Seattle and back! (don’t try this at home)

I sped to West Seattle, ran up the 20 stairs (or so) up to my friends’ house, got jumped on by my dog (so happy to see me), used the bathroom real quick, grabbed the gift, wiped off the slobber and ran back to the car.

I then remembered that most of the kids will be decked out with balloons, flowers and tiaras, so I decided to at least grab a bouquet for my daughter. Ran into Trader Joe’s, grabbed a bunch of white roses, and was horrified to see lines at every cash register. Luckily, one guy in front of me said that he forgot something and let me go in front of him!

When I got back the church the service was ending at 8:00 pm on the dot and I was just in time to hand my daughters the bouquet of flowers.

More picture taking in front of the church and then we headed over to the banquet hall, forgetting at first that since this is a Catholic event, we’d have to wait for the priest to let us pray before we could eat. We didn’t eat until after 9pm.

Nani had fun, but she was also sad. These events are always bitter-sweet. I tried leaving before it got too late, but by the time we finally got home it was almost midnight.


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