Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Natural Order of Things

Friday was an unusual day...

It was Darling Man's birthday. He's reached that age where one thinks about things like life insurance and blood pressure and cholesterol levels. He has friends who have had serious surgeries to save their lives. He doesn't want to be one of those, so he exercises like a maniac and has decided to start watching his diet more closely. After an insurance physical, he realizes that he can't eat just anything he wants to because he exercises so much. So his birthday marks the beginning of his new life - he wants to be here as long as possible because we have this boy...

This marvelous boy who graduated from elementary school on Friday.

He got the Avid Reader Award, Excellence in Art Award, Mini-Mu Award (Math), and the Published Writing Award (!). He just missed the Perfect Attendence award because of that one sick day, when he knowingly gave it up because he really did feel bad. And recent math difficulties lost him the AB Honor Roll award. He dropped out of Strings about a month ago, so he lost that certificate as well.

Several of his classmates were on every award list in the book (that they were eligible for) and a couple surprised me by only being on one award list. Overall, I think my boy did okay.

I was surprised by my own tears during the ceremony. A recognition that my boy really isn't my boy anymore. He's turning into a young man. A middle-schooler. Things will be different even though at some level, I want them to stay the same.

And then, there are some people for whom things will never be the same again.

Right after the graduation ceremony, Darling Man and I rushed home to change into better clothes to attend a funeral. This was not someone we've been close to recently, but a person from the past, married to someone we currently work with. Her life was full of ups and downs, children, tears and laughter. It was a casual graveside service. People showed up in suits, work attire, jeans and in one case, Daisy Dukes, lacy camisole and nose ring.

It was a chance to hug her husband and tell him how sorry we were that he'd lost her. And he did look lost. He stood at the edge of the crowd looking sad and uncomfortable, chuckling every now and then, which is his way of displaying emotion. When I hugged him, he started crying, but stopped quickly as it was not something he really did much of in his life. I think the world would understand if he shed tears for his wife though.

I wasn't far away from the tent when the service started, but in spite of the microphones, all I could hear were the birds singing. I think she would have liked that.

She was the same age as Darling Man.

Full circle. The natural order. And being human, we fight that every step of the way.

1 comment:

Liane Michel said...

Congrats to Zboy... or should I say Raa Raa Raa!! (LOL) Middle school will be a very different atmosphere for him and I know he will love it!

I remember when you just went to the next grade (school). There was no graduation ceremony or awards (except of course high school graduation).

Jess is making the big step from "senior" 8th grader to peon freshman. I know she's excited and so am I!! Now she and Jason will be at the same school and I only have to deal with one bus schedule!