Our daughter graduates from high school tonight.
That’s a pretty huge milestone for a young kid.
It’s a big deal and worthy of great celebration.
I remember my own graduation.
We had the ceremony at the Cobb Civic Center from what I can recall.
When the ceremony was over, I remember going outside with my parents and our friend, May, who’d flown out from California for my big night.
It was hot…like it gets in Georgia in late Spring…muggy and hot. I was standing in the parking lot with my parents…standing by our old Ford Fairlane.
Every one of my friends were tearing out of the parking lot in their old trucks….going to parties at the lake,etc…. parties, parties, parties….wild times on graduation night.
They were finished with something big…it was time to move on to the next chapter. But first, they needed to party hard.
I was standing by our old station wagon with my parents and sister…and our family friend, May.
My parents said, “You can come home with us and have cake with May”.
I listened to the tires screeching…and the excited yelling of all my friends going off to have another adventure….going off to have the last adventure they’d have as “high school students”…..and my parents were inviting me to go back home and have cake with May….and I think that I panicked a little.
This was a big night for me. I needed to be out in the world with the other celebrators.
I got into the Fairlane and rode home. I had cake with May.
But I was chomping at the bit to get back out and find my friends…and after we’d had our cake, I explained that I needed to get back out there and celebrate….and I left.
From what I remember, I did end up finding a few of my fellow graduates and we went out and roamed around together…went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, got a late bite to eat.
It wasn’t really a rocking party. It wasn’t a blow out. It was more of a trickle out, if there is such a thing. I guess it was kind of a slow leak kind of celebration.
All these years later, I can’t help but think of May coming all the way from California for my big night.
May wasn’t a “blood relative”, whatever that may mean, but she was as close to our family as any relative related by birth. She’d been a close and loved family friend for what seemed like forever.
I wish that I could have calmed down long enough to realize that having cake with May would be a bigger deal than partying with my friends.
That’s probably just something that you figure out when you’re older.
May’s long gone…and I never see most of the folks I knew in High School.
My parents are both gone now, also.
Tonight my daughter graduates from High School. She drives an old truck, but she isn’t really in the “tear out of the parking lot” mode. I don’t think she’ll have the same situation going that I had so many years ago. I hope that she has a good celebration with us…and with her friends.
“You can come home with us and have cake with May”.
I’d like that.