Confession time: I am not one of those moms that gets weepy at 8th grade graduation. I just don't. I attend the ceremony, take the photos, congratulate the grad, enjoy chatting with friends, etc. I just don't get all emotional. It is a sweet moment and all, but a dry-eyed one for me.
I do host a low key party. Coach takes my non-weepy emotions a step further. He does not believe 8th grade graduations need to be celebrated. I don't invite everyone we know to these celebrations, typically just family and a few close friends of the graduate. If you knew Coach's folks, you might understand the non-celebratory gene that he seems to have inherited. Coach whines a bit about a party for an 8th grade grad, but he doesn't demand that I NOT host something.
Lad graduated 8th grade from Catholic grammar school. After he graduated we pulled out and sent the kids to the public school a few blocks from our house. Best. Move. Ever. (Only in part because it made my in-laws crazy). We couldn't afford the Catholic school and our public school is outstanding.
Ed was in 6th grade when he started at the public school. He had an amazing group of friends at the Catholic school and it was really hard for him to leave, BUT - looking back, he now says 'thank God you pulled me out of there. I got a much better education at the public school'. Yes, in case you are wondering, I have offered him a more significant part of our inheritance if he decides to casually share that tidbit with my in-laws AND captures their red-faced reaction on video. (New here? My in-laws are religious zealots. Nuff said).
The public school also offered much more for our kids who struggle with speech, ADD, etc. Lad would have benefited from that school. Hindsight is so helpful, right?
|I have quite a few of |
these cap and gowns
Can you believe
that only 2 were worn?
Anyway, I have to say that the Catholic school graduation ceremony was lovely. I still didn't cry, but it included many sweet touches. We only had the one kid graduate from there.
At the public school, the grad ceremony is fine. That is all. Fine. I would even venture to say boring. They celebrate the same award recipients as they do the few nights prior at the awards assembly. Redundant? Yes. They use it as one more occasion for the band to play. And play. The choir - dear God, they always manage to give a solo to some girl whose high pitched singing could shatter glass. The song is always cheesey. Then someone speaks from the board of education. Yadda, yadda, yadda. At last it is over and we take photos and watch as people try to trample one another to grab snacks and drinks from the over-crowded, easy-to-lose-your-family cafeteria.
This still remains one of my
costumes - ever. Mini wore
this cap and
gown with boxing gloves
to school as an 8th grader
after Tank missed graduation
for being in a fight
the year before.
A few weeks ago, I realized something. Reg is our 4th public school 8th grade graduate. Since his graduation ceremony is virtual, we won't be required to sit in the gym for a night I find cringe-worthy. Oddly enough, out of the 4 grads we have had there, after Reg graduates (which is honestly starting to look questionable because I continue to get emails from teachers requesting that he turns in missing work. Heavy sigh) we will only have attended 2 actual ceremonies.
If missing the ceremony made Reg sad, I would not celebrate in front of him - but he doesn't really care. Maybe it is a boy thing. Missing the DC trip, now that is something that makes him sad. I am heartbroken over that one too.
Anyway, thanks to Tank getting kicked out of school on the last day for defending himself when that kid punched him in the head on the final 8th grade field trip, and now the pandemic - we have only been required to attend two of four possible ceremonies.
When I shared this realization with the family, we laughed and high-fived and celebrated and chatted about what other way we will find to spend our time during the pandemic instead of attending a ceremony. Yes, apparently we are 'that' family.