It was over just like that. I did not spontaneously combust, as I had thought I might. I did not collapse in a sobbing heap of tears either. Mini Me graduated and I actually lived to tell about it! Also, I did not embarrass the hell out of him by crying the loudest. It’s okay. I’m still a little shocked, myself. Let me fill you in on the Merry Month of May at Chèz Psychomother….
May 4 was our 20th wedding anniversary. Just in case you ever wondered, JC and I met at DUI School. Yep. That is TRUE. We met at the Hokey Jackson DUI School in Athens, GA. I figure that when you meet somebody at DUI School, marry them, and stay married to them for twenty years, that is pretty damn close to the definition of “true love”. When we met and told our parents about each other, both sets of parents just shook their heads and said, “why can’t you just meet somebody nice at church?”….Anyway. Seeing as though we had racked up 55,000 Aveda Pure Privilege Points, with JC using quite a bit of “Be Curly” and the rest of us using a bunch of other Aveda shit, we qualified for 3 free nights at the Aveda Sugar Ridge Resort in Antigua. All we had to pay for was our air fare. Since 20 years was a big anniversary, we decided we needed to celebrate big. We bought an extra night at the resort and booked our flights. We were gone May 4-8, and it was a fabulous beginning to the busiest month of our year. Our room even had a plunge pool in it! I had never seen water so blue. I did not want to come home. I am not joking. I was trying to figure out how I could just stay and send JC back. Alas, on Mother’s Day, I did get on the plane to come back. I figured it would scar my children for life if I just never came home. The fact that our return date happened to be Mother’s Day would have just made it worse, so I figured I’d better go on back. Dammit. When we got home, the days ahead were nothing but complete and utter chaos–a lot of it my own making. I decided to make burlap pillows for Mini Me’s teachers.
I did not limit it to his teachers this year, but I allowed him to give one to each and every teacher who had ever meant something to him in the 5 years that he had been at Dekalb School of the Arts. This meant that I made about 25 pillows. Each pillow had a saying painted on the front. I made piping. They all had zippers-all except one because I ran out of zippers at the very end. I also made tassels. The pillows were not small, either. I think the smallest one was maybe 5 x 8? I think I bought 28 bags of stuffing. The whole house was breathing burlap fibers. Every time I would think I was finished, Mini Me would think of someone else who needed a pillow. JC decided to talk to me about my “project”. He started out by saying he “wanted to help me out….next year” and went on about how “I do this every year”….he thought this “little talk” would be helpful. It was not, as you might imagine. I tried to be nice and listen. In the end, I’m sure it will not surprise you to hear that I ended up telling him to fuck right on off. I do not do this every year. YES, I have done it before. Last year I did not do it. Last year was very easy. He only remembers the years that I make it hard on myself. I did get it all done. Imagine that. I always do. Imagine that. Moving on….. The Seniors got out of school the Tuesday before the Monday of graduation. This proved to be somewhat of a pain in the ass. This meant that my Senior wanted my car and wanted to do whatever he wanted 24/7. I was not ready for that yet. I think he should have had to go to school until Graduation, but I had no say so in it. I could not work on his scrap book because I was still sewing the damn pillows and he was at home! (The Middle Child goes to the same school, so she was delivering pillows as I finished them) The weekend right before Graduation, I started to come a little unglued. Okay. A lot unglued. I was a little weepy. Okay, I was a lot weepy. I thought this was a precursor to what Graduation was going to be like, and frankly, I was getting a little concerned. Okay, a lot concerned. I did not want to embarrass Mini Me or my family by being this sobbing, hysterical mess…
On Graduation Day, Mini Me had to go to practice. This gave me a few hours to vacuum, mop, dust, put shit away, and whip together his surprise scrapbook that I had left to the last possible minute. Imagine that. Mothah would be there by lunch. The rest of my family would be there by 3:30. Surprisingly, it all got done. All except that I should have left for Graduation about 2:00 and saved 11 more seats. Thank GOD for my mother-in-law, who left about an hour earlier than we did! As we pulled into the parking garage, she sent me a text that read, “How many seats do we need? No seats left on lower floor. We are in the balcony.” I immediately sent her a text that said, “We need 10 seats”, thinking that we were going to be spread all over the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University. The next text I got back simply said, “done”. We got into the building, and it was jam-packed with people. We made our way upstairs and The Baby announced that he had to go to the bathroom. I waited on him while everyone else went to find our seats. When The Baby and I got to our seats, everyone stood up to let us in. I thanked my mother-in-law for saving us the seats. This woman. I cannot tell you. She saves my ass on a regular basis. Sometimes I am glad I married JC simply because I got her in the deal. About the time I got to my seat, The Middle Child decided she needed to go to the bathroom. Now please visualize a lot of eye rolling and sighing going on–much of it coming from moi. I was damn near the end of my rope. Traffic had been terrible driving to Emory, and of course we had not left in time. I was a wreck. The Baby wanted to sit where nobody was sitting in front of him, so he and JC swapped seats just before The Baby was about to lose his shit. I am telling you, people, I was on the edge. About the time that the faculty started to file in and the organ music ramped up, a young man came in and sat down next to my in-law’s, who were actually in the row behind me. I saw him lean over to his own father and I heard him say, “Dad, when ** comes out, we are gonna yell so loud! We are gonna be the loudest family in here!” I was a little shocked. Surely they had more class than that. He had to be joking….right? Oh hell no. He was not joking. Not one little bit. I tried to put it out of my mind. I teared up a little when Pomp and Circumstance started and we saw Mini Me walk down the aisle and take his seat. He was #6 in line. He last name begins with the letter B. After that, it was really hard to get sentimental and weepy with the catcall’s and the whoop-whoop’s that were going on in both ears. At first, I thought it would surely lighten up. It did not. It proceeded to get worse and worse. They would even loudly comment on what each speaker was saying! I found out later that Mothah was down at the end of our row making my brother laugh. Every time the people behind us would get rowdy with their obnoxious cheering, Mothah would lean over to my brother and say, “Oh! I guess they thought that one might not make it!” At some point, someone pulled out an air horn. I don’t think it was them, but it was so loud that I jumped up out of my seat. I was a little disappointed in the lack of decorum. We were not on a football field! And…while graduation is a huge milestone to be celebrated, at my house, it is expected. I couldn’t help but feel like some of these people thought they were cheering for a quadruple major-PhD-summa cum laude….or perhaps an Oscars Lifetime Achievement Award. With all of that going on behind me, it was really hard to get all sentimental and weepy, which I guess was a good thing. I am also pretty sure I lost partial hearing in my left ear…..
I wonder if I destroyed all of the pictures and his diploma–if we could just pretend this whole graduation thing never happened? Couldn’t we go back to the way things were?😂 There would be no hard evidence…only circumstantial…..I mean, really, how well does that hold up? 😉
Why were we at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University, you may ask? I will be glad to tell you why! Our wonderful little school, Dekalb School of the Arts, recently ranked #3 in the State of Georgia and #102 Nationally by U. S. News and World Report, does not have a facility to house the talent that rages within, much less the talent plus the families….We cannot all fit in the theater or the cafeteria or the gym…..The facility that we currently have is falling in around us. We are hopeful that with the recent election victory of SPLOST, that this will change, but it has been a long time coming. These children deserve so much more. As president of the PTSA this year, I sat in on a focus group of students for the marketing committee. I heard things like “We make do with what we have” and “We make the best of this situation” more than once come out of these teenagers mouths. They may have to say that about their homes, but they should never have to say that about their public schools. Our county should be ashamed.