When a friend sent us this photo he snapped of Ian graduating on Friday, I was so grateful.  Let’s just say I had a view of the back of his mortarboard.  I’ll spare you the details of the chaotic hell-ride-in-the-rain to graduation that caused us not to be able to sit with my dad in the four posh seats he scrupulously saved for us, and which remained empty for the entire ceremony as we were allowed only into the bleachers after 6 PM. 

The important thing is that three generations were there to see Ian receive his sheepskin. 

His two remaining grandparents, one from each side of the family.  His two parents, two brothers, two uncles, and one aunt. 


The following things struck me about graduation:

Kids these days don’t have that us versus them feeling my peers and I had about adults in our lives.  Lots of the grads hugged the principal and the faculty advisors as they crossed the stage.  Which is impressive.  (Also perhaps symptomatic of a hugging pandemic in schools – that’s another story).

Elgar’s composition is still beautiful, even though we’ve all heard it countless times.  Someday I’d love to hear it played outside in the summertime in London.

Hugh was a genius to bring the high school newspaper that listed the post-graduate destination of every senior, in alphabetical order, so we could follow along.

I was a fool to iron that graduation robe, as Ian dutifully reported we were to do.  Who was going to sit there and hiss to a neighbor, “Oh my God, Ian’s mom obviously didn’t get all the creases out of that billowing polyester!”

Kids today are lucky to go to schools that are full of attentive, creative, nurturing teachers.  Ian’s high school mentors ranged from an art teacher who recognized his talent to an English/physics teacher who called all his students “scholars.”  (He would literally call on them as “Scholar Last Name,” without fail, and Ian thrived in his classes).  During senior year, Ian had several legendary teachers who challenged him in English, in Spanish, and in a cross-disciplinary seminar. 

It is truly hard to believe it’s over, but he’s got the diploma to prove it.

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