Hey, my grandpa's in town!
This is pretty awesome, since I don't get to see him too often. He lives in Mississippi where the rest of my family resides, plus he's, like, a month shy of 90, so it's not like he can just zip over any old time. Hi, PaTom! Give me like twenty minutes and I'll be saying hi to you in person!
He flew in today cause tomorrow's my little cousin Thomas's birthday. Here is a photo of my cousin Thomas:
No, okay, that's actually a picture of Napoleon Dynamite. But when that movie came out, everyone in my family had a good laugh, cause that's basically exactly how Thomas looks/sounds. We like to watch the movie when we all get together and then make fun of him. Um, in a loving way.
I actually know three people who are graduating high school tomorrow - my cousin Thomas, my family's friend Andreea and my brother's girlfriend, Staci. Yeah, my brother's dating someone in high school. And yes, she out-matures him.
I kind of love high school graduations, despite the hours-long ceremonies and the fact that I almost always run into people I don't like, if they're anywhere near Houston. Kind of like a wedding, there's just this overwhelming feeling of promise and hope, people standing poised to reach out and make their future their own. Or at least that's what we tell them, and then quietly chuckle to ourselves when they graduate and realize that college is just more of the same thing. Ha ha, grads, joke's on you!
My own high school graduation was AMAZING. I mean, I already knew it would be, because it meant that I got to say goodbye to all the people I knew in high school. And since I didn't like most of the people I knew in high school, this seemed like a grand prospect. But it actually turned out to be amazing in other ways; the transformer blew on the football field (where we had our graduation cause apparently our class was broke) so we did half of the ceremony in the dark over a megaphone. Someone smuggled in beach balls and silly string (and considering they did actually frisk us to make sure we weren't concealing weaponry under our robes, I have to marvel at where they might have stored this stuff) and the whole ceremony turned into a giant beach party. My mom told me once that while she expected to cry buckets, she couldn't do anything but laugh at my graduation ceremony, as groups of kids tried to spell out "Terry '98" in shaving cream on the football field. (I didn't tell my mom but they tried to spell out several naughty words as well, only they ran out of shaving cream.) And as I stood there laughing at it all with my little circle of friends, something really strange happened - all those people I couldn't stand came over and were friendly to me. I mean, for the past 6 years, they did nothing but torment me, and now all of a sudden, they wanted to be my BFF? I realized that they, like me, were just a little unsure of their place in the great big world that was about to greet them, and they wanted to latch on to someone familiar.
I smiled very nicely and then walked away. I'm sentimental, not stupid.
But it's a great feeling to graduate high school, to feel like finally your life is your own to mold and shape how you will. I think that quiet hope we have then is gift we give to ourselves, and I can trace the best moments of my life to when that feeling comes over me once again. When I can step back and look at my friends or my family or my job and think, "yep, this is the life I've made myself, and just look at where I can take it."
So congrats, Thomas and Andreea and Staci! I hope you all fulfill the promises you make to yourself this weekend! And if your promises lead you to a job which earns you a lot of money and/or free stuff, I expect that you will keep me in mind.