July 14, 2015

leading up to the day...

Once your child starts middle school, time seems to pick up at a rapid rate.
And high school? Before you know it they are half-way through, beginning junior year and all the talk of college comes on full force. And then... you take that last first-day-of-school-picture, and realize that if you had started filling up one of those school bus frames years ago, you would be inserting the last photo to make a complete set. There is no doubt...

The days are long, but the years are short
-Gretchen Rubin

This past April, we were so focused on a college decision, that when May arrived with all of its penciled-in calendar squares, we barely had time to catch our breath. I was running here and there, and almost picked up a new tie for Cam to wear to the band awards, but then decided he may have his own idea. We headed out shopping one evening, just the two of us, and we laughed and talked our way through Kohls. It was such a good night... and what he chose to wear for his last marching band hurrah was both perfect and uniquely him.

We loved walking him across the stage, arm in arm... it was a night of celebration! The surprise of the evening was when Camden's name was called for the Most Improved Percussion Award. Oh how hard he has worked. It feels so good to know that someone else noticed. The best part was what his instructor said, though, before he called Cam's name.  {This instructor graduated the year before Laura, is a member of the Boston Crusaders, and has come back to the Marching Pride and teach.} He talked about how much he would miss this student and their dedication, and was so sorry that he wouldn't have more time with this student. Then he talked about how he has dreamed of teaching percussion, and hoped that one day he would see his teachings play out in one of his students helping someone else... and how it did, in percussion try-outs the week before, when this student came to help, and confidently shared their percussion skills with the 8th graders who were trying out.

I had no idea he meant my son until he was done, calling his name at the end. What an honor.
Eric barely made it from work that night... there was a huge fire that he was patrolling! 
At Senior Awards Night, Cam knew he would be receiving his National Honor Society stole and one scholarship, but he was surprised with a second scholarship and was recognized for his merit scholarship to Cornell College.  My favorite part of the night was hearing the names of the students we have known since elementary school, and even some from his kindergarten class.

By the last week of May, we were in full graduation celebration mode and feeling so overwhelmed by the emotions of all that had been going on.  One night I looked over at Eric, with tears in my eyes, feeling so very blessed, and asked him how did we get here? Our two babies, graduated, so many years behind us... a new kind of life before us.  I recall so vividly the morning I put Laura on the school bus to send her off to kindergarten, thinking it will be three long years before both kids are in school. The time has passed with joy and struggle, laughter and shouting...

Cam's friend John picked him up the morning of the last graduation practice, and then delivered him home afterwards. I made them stand for a picture, to capture them on their very last day, two friends to the end. There were tears in my laughter, because all of this is all so important. Why? Because it is the struggles you go through that grow you, and the friends that stand beside you are the people who have helped you become the person you are. When you look back over the years, you can' help but recall the low times, but I think that is okay, because it makes these times of celebration that much sweeter.

1 comment :

Southern Gal said...

I know your heart was full to overflowing that night! How extremely proud you are of him and rightly so. Amen to your words on friendship. Yes.

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