We officially have a high school graduate! The week leading up to Sunday’s graduation ceremony was jam-packed for M.
Her final day of school was last Monday. They were supposed to go in for first period Tuesday but she (and most of her classmates) opted to skip that. She had little activities each day but Thursday was when things really got cranking. That morning she met with a group of girls on campus to take pictures. One of her middle school friends, who graduated from a rival school this weekend, took the photos and they turned out amazing. If you are a Facebook friend these are the pics of the group in caps and gowns around the school sign, etc.
Afterward she changed clothes and helped the other class officers paint their spot on the school wall. That evening she attended her first grad party, then slept over with a group of girls who were all on the crew to help make breakfast for Senior Sunrise.
She was up at like 5:30 Friday to get to campus and setup the breakfast. They had a beautiful morning for their last time together on the Hill, then meandered over to the gym for the Irish 500, the annual tricycle race between classes. There was some controversy this year as a team of sophomores, featuring one of C’s best friends, won for the second-straight year. The seniors claimed they cheated but C was insistent that she had video that disproved the senior’s argument. Who knew a tricycle race could be filled with so much drama?!?!
That night was the baccalaureate mass. Because of the timing we were not very environmentally friendly as a family and had to take three cars. I felt a little bad about that, even more so since parking is such a pain on campus.
The class president gave a very good speech which was a bonus. In the midst of the ceremony C looked at me and said, “Is that rain?” referring to the background noise. At an appropriate moment I slipped my phone out to check the radar and, sure enough, there was a big, fat red storm cell sitting right on top of CHS. It had not passed when the mass was over and we had to run to our cars while getting absolutely soaked. And I mean soaked. My clothes were plastered to my body. Thank goodness it wasn’t graduation day!
We had to laugh when the kids walked in for the mass. They were in alphabetical order. There was a sequence that went from Xavier Booker (6’11”) to M’s ex-boyfriend (5’7”). That just didn’t look right. We were also thankful that the ex-boyfriend comes before his twin sister in the lineup, otherwise he and M would have walked and sat next to each other. They are on decent terms but that still would have been awkward.
When we got home M was in tears. She said she was tired, stressed, and sad. I told her it was 100% acceptable to be sad, but there was no reason to be stressed. This was going to be one of the best weekends of her life and she needed to take a deep breath and enjoy it. I think it was more the lack of sleep than anything else, because once she got a good night of rest, she was fine the rest of the weekend.
Saturday her best friend’s grandmother took a group out for lunch and then she had up to six parties to attend. She ended up only going to four, but that was still a pretty full day.
Sunday was the big day. CHS’ graduation is outside at their baseball complex east of the city. An outdoor event in Indianapolis in May? Holy taking a chance! I guess they haven’t learned from over a hundred years of Indy 500s, where the biggest drama of race day is often whether that storm developing over Terre Haute is going to make it to Speedway before the race ends.
We lucked out, though. It was bright and sunny and in the low 70s. The sun felt a lot warmer than 70, and we were all very hot. Plus we roasted in the sun, sunburns for all. But at least there was no rain or it wasn’t like 57 and windy.
The ceremony went well. M gave the opening prayer. One of her classmates was supposed to follow her by offering the prayer in Spanish. Apparently the band didn’t get the memo as they started playing immediately after M finished. It was hilarious watching her whip her head around trying to figure out what to do. We went back and watched the recording of the event that night. M said the school president told them just to wait for the band to finish and then give the Spanish prayer. After she got that message she just glared at the band. I found her indignation delightful, and was glad she was sticking up for her classmate.
Anyway, the whole event took about two hours. There were a few too many speeches, especially since we had speeches on Friday. There are 240ish kids in her class and it took about 45 minutes to call their names to walk the stage. I talked to the parents of some of L’s basketball teammates Saturday about their ceremonies at the big, suburban, Hamilton County schools. Their ceremonies often take 3–4 hours. That sounds fun.
One highlight from the ceremony was learning that M’s class destroyed the school records for both total scholarship dollars offered and, since they are a smaller class, scholarship dollars per student. She said when the school president announced that, the grads were all laughing that it was thanks to Booker and all his offers. I noticed he only listed about 10 schools, and a football player who is going to Kentucky did not list a couple schools I know he had official offers from, so their class total could have been even higher. Another kid, who is just a normal dude, had like a quarter page of scholarships listed. Good for him!
L took her camera and got some very good pictures. When going through them I laughed because she not only snapped M and her friends as they walked right behind us, but also Booker and her favorite assistant coach from the girls program.
After the ceremony we came home and had an Italian takeout dinner that was a combination celebration for graduation and C’s birthday last week with S’s dad and stepmom. Then M opened the time capsule made back in first grade. It was fun reading all the things she wrote about herself back then. My only kind of emotional moment of the week was when she read the letter I wrote to her and then I read the letter she wrote about me being her hero. The best stuff.
That was our graduation weekend. M will have two graduation parties in the coming weeks. On Memorial Day we are hosting a smaller one for just family and close friends. Then in June she and two of her best friends will have a mutual party at one of their homes. She has about 1000 parties scattered around those. I think S and I are only going to a couple of those, so our calendars are much less packed than M’s.
With M home, C went straight from getting her license to driving to school most days. Which means I’m back to how I was when M started driving on her own: checking my phone every 30 seconds until I’m sure C made it to CHS safely, or that she is getting home safely after school. Glad she got her license at the end of the academic year so I’ll have the summer to get more comfortable mentally with her being out on her own.
L’s team had a tournament this weekend, although she only played on Saturday. They won those two games by 29 and 45. Even the “close” one was never really close and we had running clocks for the entire second half of each.
L didn’t score much – four and two points respectively – but did a decent job passing and playing defense. The team we beat by 45 lost to us by 40 a month ago. The mom who ran the clock next to me said they came from Ohio. I wanted to ask her if it was worth driving two hours to keep getting crushed, but kept that question in my head.
In the bracket games Sunday our girls won by 43 and then played our program’s highest level sixth grade team for the championship. That team has a girl who can literally look me in the eyes. All she does is block shots and take 3’s. They have another girl who is pushing six-feet who is mostly an outside player, too. They’ve won two different “world championship” tournaments, so they are a really good team.
Our girls beat them 45–43 in overtime. Texting with our coach after it sounds like we controlled the entire game then got sloppy at the end to let it get to overtime. But after losing by a single point in overtime twice this season, the girls finally closed one out. I mean, to took paying sixth graders to do it. But these are “world champions,” so don’t knock it too much.
That was our last tournament of the spring. We take the holiday weekend off then the girls will all funnel out to their high school programs for June. We will reconvene after July 4 for three out-of-town tournaments and then be done with this iteration of the team. In Indiana only three girls from a high school can play on the same AAU team. As we have four girls who will go to the same high school, our team will need to be split up.
The good news for L is the CHS head coach also coaches with her AAU program, so I think she’ll be able to stay with her current travel coach for at least one more year. It will just not be with all the same girls.