The youngest of our shrubs graduated from high school last night and it's so very, very bittersweet. For 12 solid years we have had a boy enrolled in high school and we (meaning that guy that I like so much and I) were more than ready to move on.
Brian was ready, too.
The bigs (and one beautiful girlfriend) all arrived home in time to watch the little commence. They're a motley crew...but they're ours.
Alex, being Alex, brought an air horn which ended up malfunctioning and gave out a tiny little 'toot' rather than a huge blast. And then Alex, being Alex, made it into such a funny event that us....and all the people around us, had a hard time concentrating for a bit.
He's pretty fun to have around, I must say.
Can you spot Brian???
Yeah, we couldn't either.
He was easy to find after though. Head to the 40 yd line and look for the kid in the red bow tie.
I like that he has his very own style.
High school served him well. The bonus? He hasn't peaked yet.
That's a good thing, in case you were wondering.
The bittersweet part is knowing that this is the end of a HUGE life stage for us. Sure, parenting hasn't stopped as of this morning but now the big focus is on what will he be bringing with him to college?
He is SO ready and excited and it's hard to not be caught up in that with him.
This houseful of boys has given me more than they will ever know. I grew up with them. I learned that I never had a clue about what love meant until I became a mom. I never knew that I could cry so much and laugh so much more.
What a beautiful gift that I was given. And to that guy that I like so much, who has walked the walk and talked the talk...he gave me the most beautiful gift of all. He has worked so hard his whole adult life so that I could have the career I dreamed of...the career that didn't pay a single penny.
His boys have all seen and heard...and will be fine men because of that.
And the youngest of them?
He's not only watched his Dad, but he's watched his big brothers. And with all the name calling and pushing and shoving comes a strong bond that makes me so happy. We've always told them that 'friends will come and go but brothers are brothers forever' and guess what? They believed us.
We splurged on Maggiano's and left full.
Very, very full.
Got everyone home and got Brian off to grad night and then it hit me. It really is over.
And just like that, the tuition bill for college was in my inbox.
And so, for the first time since 1995, I don't have a boy in the lower education system of America. It's served us well...they can all tie their shoes, bounce a ball and write their names. All learned to play an instrument; some can sing a tune. One can change tires and the oil on a car. One can read Latin. Two can make ashtrays out of clay. All three learned a tolerance I had hoped they would...of people with different skin colors and faiths. One learned Spanish. One excelled in band, one excelled in basketball and one in just about everything he touched. All three experienced a wide variety of grades given by a widely diverse set of teachers. All know cursive....a soon to be dying art.
And, in real life admissions, all three can forge my signature to get out of 4th period so they could have a longer lunch.
Just like their Mom did way back when.