Graduation Night.

Last night was an amazing experience.
I expected to cry a lot. I expected to be an emotional wreck. And sure enough, as soon as we pulled into the stadium parking lot, I began to cry. “I can’t believe this is happening.” I said. “Are you crying already, Mom?” My Ethan asked, in a Very Annoyed Tone.
We got out of the car and grabbed our things while Andrew adjusted his tie and put on his cap and gown. I watched him as he made sure everything looked just right. I hugged him before we left to get in line. “Enjoy yourself, Son. Cherish this moment.”
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When we entered the stadium, I grabbed a bunch of tissue and stuffed it in my purse. I wanted to be properly prepared for The Ugly Cry.
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The proud parents, patiently waiting for the ceremony to start.
The ceremony started. I waited to see my son walking to his seat. “There he is!” I shouted. We all started screaming his name. “Andrew! ANDREW!” We waved and waited for him to look our way. (He never looked our way.)
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I didn’t cry.
I asked my mother in law if I could borrow her binoculars so I could watch him as we waited for everyone to be seated. I wanted to see his face. I found him in the crowd. He had the biggest smile on his face which was exactly what I was hoping to see. I felt overwhelmed with pride.
I didn’t cry.
The ceremony started. The principal spoke. The kids cheered. One of the students gave her speech. The kids cheered. Then, they said they were going to begin announcing the names of the graduates. Everyone cheered.
I didn’t cry.
I waited patiently while they called names. When it was time for my son’s row to stand up, I ran downstairs to get a better view for a photo. I saw him in line. I screamed his name, jumped up and down and waved. He saw me, smiled as big as he ever has and waved back.
I didn’t cry.
The women with the microphone in her hand announced his name. I zoomed in and took a shot of his sweet face. I screamed his name. “Andrew! ANDREW! ANNNNDREW!” I wanted him to look my way, I wanted him to wave so I could get a shot of how proud he was. I screamed some more. He never did look my way.
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I didn’t cry.
The kids turned their tassels, threw their hats in the air while we clapped and cheered wildly for our boy. I watched and laughed as the graduates went crazy on the field. I thought back to the day I graduated– it was the most thrilling moment in my life. I felt so blessed to be there watching my son experiencing that milestone in his life.
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I didn’t cry.
Today, as I reflect on last night, I feel incredibly proud of my son. He had some struggles during his high school journey and there were times I didn’t think he was going to make it. But he pulled through in a big way and HE DID IT.
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This morning, I asked him how he felt the day after graduation.
“I feel good.”
“Are you proud of yourself?”
“Yeah, I am, Mom.” He smiled.
“You should be, son. You worked hard and I’m proud of you.” I replied.
“Thanks, Mom.”
I walked out of his room. Closed the door, went into the bathroom, took a deep breath.
And then, I cried.

38 thoughts on “Graduation Night.

  1. mrschaos

    I loved this. I know (I KNOW) it’s not the same, but my oldest is graduating 8th grade in 2 weeks. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t keep getting choked up.
    Congrats!

    Reply
  2. Cass

    Congrats to Andrew, what a great moment.
    I have little prickly tears in my eyes because you look so proud and glowing and HAPPY. I finally get why my mom was acting like this at my graduation many years ago.

    Reply
  3. Nancy P

    ahh MAN, now I am crying again. Oh but I love that you share your awesome family with us! The photos are great. You all look so happy and proud!

    Reply
  4. amber

    I cried at the end of your post. You put the day into such beautiful words. Amazing…simply amazing. I love that you were so in the moment taking in all in and savoring it (as you always seem to be) We should all try to do that more often. My oldest starts kindergarten this fall…and I fear that before I know it….I’ll be right where you are…I hope I am able to enjoy every moment between now and then just as you are and have been. Congrats to you and to your son!

    Reply
  5. Kathy

    This made me cry for the following reason:
    1) When we first met he was like TEN. omfg.
    2) I look at my first son who is 5 and know, with all my heart, that this will be me before I know it, before I’m ready. I want to freeze time and keep my boys little forever but it won’t happen and I’ll be at my son’s graduation with my camera crying my eyes out.
    Congratulations, Andrew!

    Reply
  6. Alicia CP

    Okay, I just got teary thinking about my little 20 month of man doing that one day. And reading your post. You know how to make me “try” (cry).
    Even though I don’t know your son, I’m very proud of him too.
    Happy day!

    Reply
  7. Amy

    Congrates to your son. My daughter starts high school this fall. Time can stop now. She’s my only child and I just not dealing very well with the fact that she’s going up.

    Reply
  8. Sarah (mrsgryphon)

    Oh, these moments that you share with us are beyond wonderful. Thank you for your writing, and for giving us a little look into such a perfect day. Congratulations to Andrew and the whole family!

    Reply
  9. robyn

    Well *I* cried reading this! He should still be that little boy you were missing like crazy when you were down here — how is it possible he’s off into the big world as a graduate already?!? I’m so happy for him, and for YOU mommy! Con”grad”ulations — job very well done!

    Reply
  10. Karate Mom

    What a great post!
    And can I say that you look abso-frickin-lutely GORGEOUS?! I love all the pics but especially that picture of you and your husband! WOW!

    Reply
  11. angie

    OMG, I just went through this with my oldest son. I fully expected to be doing the Ugly Cry at graduation, but I didn’t. There really wasn’t anything sentimental about the ceremony that even stirred my emotions. I was excited, yes, but not close to crying.
    Afterward, we had a party for friends and family, and laughed and joke with them, and had fun. We cleaned up from that and went home to collapse.
    Due to the busy day we had, we decided to order pizza. My husband took both sons with him to get the pizza. While they were all gone, I had the Ugly Cry. All by myself…and it was good. :)

    Reply
  12. Leah

    I know exactly how you feel. My daughter graduated from high school 2 years ago, I was so very proud of her. Still am, my firstborn as well.

    Reply
  13. Potty Training

    Reading your post made ME cry. I have two sons that will tonight…ON MY 40th birthday….The second oldest is graduating a year early. I have been an emotional mess all week. I’m so proud of them. I hope I can keep it together like you did and let loose in private.
    Congratulations to YOU and your son.
    -Lora

    Reply
  14. Kathy from NJ

    What an absolutely beautiful family, congratulations to everyone. I love the picture of your three children, G looks so happy in the arms of her older brother.

    Reply
  15. Heather

    Hi, just had to come out of the troll closet and say congrats and you look absolutely beautiful! Rock on girl!

    Reply
  16. Judith

    Such wonderful pictures! Thank you so much for, once again, sharing such a touching moment in your life. Many tears were shed here, but smiling all the while. In the years that I have been reading your blog, I have watched your kids grow and blossom into wonderful people. Sending much love to you all xx

    Reply
  17. Stephanie

    I honestly don’t know how you made it through all that with out shedding a tear, just reading about it brought tears to my eyes. My son will be a senior next year and I have already started with the emotions. Congrats to your son!!! (I think we have a lot in common my son’s name is Andrew as well and had a few struggles along the way)

    Reply
  18. JoAnn

    Awww, such a wonderful post. And such joy filled pictures. I am two tiny little years away from my oldest daughter graduating and I fear I will be a huge mess! You give me hope Yvonne that when the time comes, I too can enjoy the moment and experience the joy. Oh, I know I will cry too but hopefully I’ll be able to do it without my daughter knowing it. Congratulations–you should be a proud momma!

    Reply
  19. bikerchick

    *I* cried reading this! Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading your blog for many years and I feel some pride having watched him grow up? Love love love the photo of the “kiss sandwich”! Awesome. Huge congrats!

    Reply

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