Graduation Time – Almost

Here in BC, school is not yet out. There are a couple more weeks, mostly of field trips and celebrations for the kids. And part of those celebrations include graduation.

Alex and Henry AbGradMy eldest graduates from high school in two weeks. My middle son moves up from middle school to high school, and my youngest is moving from elementary to middle school. How did that happen? Where did the time go?

Last week was all about the graduation celebrations. I went to an Aboriginal graduation ceremony for the oldest on Wednesday. Though I personally don’t have native ancestry, my husband does, and so my boys do as well. It was amazing to be part of the ceremony in the Big House, with the dancers honoring the grads. It was also a very long ceremony, with lots of speeches! My son was presented with a Metis sash and a cedar headband.

Marcus GradOn Thursday, the elementary school held a lunch and ceremony to recognize the students moving on to middle school. We went out to lunch at the Driftwood Restaurant, a local (and tasty!) Chinese buffet. The students behaved themselves quite well, actually, though it did get pretty noisy! After the lunch, we headed back to the school for a “graduation” assembly. The students all gave short speeches about their memories of the school, where they see themselves in 20 years, and who their role-models are.

I was really grateful that I was able to go. It made my son’s day for me to be there with him. Because of my work schedule, I’m not able to help out with his class, or attend a lot of events at the school. When my middle son was moving from elementary to middle school, the teachers were on strike. Some of the parents still went for lunch with their kids, however, I was not able to go. This is my last child in elementary. So it was especially poignant for me to be able to be there.

Thursday evening was bursary and scholarship presentations for the oldest. He received a bursary from the local festival of film. We’re still working on the deposit for the film school he’s been accepted into (if you can help out with that, we’ve set up a YouCaring drive here).

I’m not as emotional about it all as I thought I would be, though maybe that is because there’s still time. Actual graduation is still two weeks out, when family will be here, and his girlfriend, and so it’s not quite real. We’ll see how I manage when he actually moves on.



They’re Growing Up

June. Summer Solstice. The end of the school year. Dance recitals at work. And two of my boys have birthdays. (Out of respect for them both, I made sure I asked their permission to use their names and pictures.)

Alex & VictorMy oldest son, Alex, was due on the summer solstice, but he was a week overdue. My middle son, Victor, was due the day before the summer solstice, and thankfully he was born a couple of days early. I was, and still am, grateful they didn’t share the same birthday.

It seems so long ago, and yet just yesterday that I was holding them in my arms, rocking them to sleep, watching them take their first steps and hearing their first words.

Very soon, my oldest turns 16, and my middle son turns 12. Alex is taller than me now, and pretty soon he will be learning to drive. Victor is almost as tall as me (and I’m NOT a short woman!), and his feet are as big as mine already (again, that’s quite a feat).

This journey as a parent has been quite the adventure. Half the time I have been afraid of screwing them up because they don’t come with instructions, and while they have some similarities, they are two definitely different individuals.

I’m so proud of the young men they are turning into, though. As they venture out more and more into their independence, I see them through the eyes of others, and what I see is brilliant, charming, and respectful.

I am blessed to have a positive relationship with both of them. They still come up and give me hugs, and talk to me about their lives.

These tears that are falling from my eyes right now grieve the babies and little boys that have grown, and they are tears of pride for the young men that are growing up before my eyes.