in the crowd

Wubby is graduated, and lived to tell about it. He almost didn’t because his grandma and mom and dad just about cleaned his clock before we left home Saturday morning. For some reason he just wasn’t in a hurry, even though he was supposed to be at the church auditorium where the ceremony was held AT LEAST 1 HOUR before things started. We left 90 minutes early, to make a 15 minute drive that took almost 30 minutes because of traffic (everyone else going to graduation), arrived to find an almost full parking lot and a line of parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. wrapped around the building. We headed for the crowd as Wubby joined his classmates inside.

As we stood in the crowd waiting for the doors to be opened, I noticed an old acquaintance of mine in the crowd ahead of us. Actually, he and I used to work together. Our sons were born about three months apart. Later in my career I worked FOR him. Then I left and went to work for another company two blocks over. He’s still at the same place; his job went from programming to managing to outsourcing. I guess he’s one of the few, maybe only, people left in the systems area. I wasn’t surprised to see him there. I knew his son was in Wubby’s class; they just didn’t run in the same crowds. But I was really surprised to see how he had aged since I’d seen him last. I like to think I don’t look my age (don’t burst my bubble here, please!), but he and his wife both seem to have aged way past their late-40s / early-50s actual age. I suppose outsourcing your friend’s and co-worker’s jobs could have that effect on you. Thank heavens I don’t know about that.

Once the actual ceremony began the teachers all came filing into the auditorium wearing their black robes and graduate hoods (those that have advanced degrees…) and another face in the crowd caught my eye. Another co-worker, from the same company and systems team, now teaches math at the high school. Again, I knew this. But seeing him, wearing the robe (no hood) on the faculty of the school where my daughter will be starting in August, threw me. He and I, how to say…….well, we worked together. Our families were friendly for a while. The working relationship, the family relationship, both, ended badly in that, hubby and I will not allow our daughter to be in any of his classes. He looked old too, and I’m older that he is.

As each of the 400+ graduates crossed the stage, he or she had an opportunity to “smile for the camera”, as the entire event was being professionally videotaped. Wubby was his somber, serious self. Other students gave various thumbs-up signals, etc. It was entertaining. More so were the various cheers offerred by parents, siblings, friends, etc. of the graduates. Individual applause was not allowed, but shouts of “Hallelujah!” et. al. were present in large numbers. The crowd favorite was a father who shouted “I love you!” as his son crossed the stage, then shouted even louder “Get a job!!!” as his son received his diploma. There were also families with kazoos and rehearsed cheers. The video should be a hoot.

So, for now, wubby is officially allowed to wear his cell phone on his belt if he chooses, go to the bathroom when he wants, without a hall pass, and various other things he couldn’t do in school. The class valedictorian recited an exhaustive list of these little jewels; I stole two of them. In addition, wubby has a job at the church, which means he’s getting paid to do something he would do for free. Except he did call me at home this morning to ask me something and prefaced his question with “I’m not trying to get you to do my job, you just know more about this than I do….” and then asked me to help him do part of his job, sort of.

At least he still asks.

Next week we’re heading to the Grand Canyon for a few days. Then it’s another 10 days and it’s off to teen camp in the mountains. Another three weeks or so and he’s off to college. And before we know it, his sister will be following right behind him.

But I can’t be this old!


2 responses to “in the crowd

  1. You are absolutely not that old. They are.

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