We Made It This Far

My son graduated from high school one week ago and I am remain awestruck by the passage of time, the morphing of our family dynamics, the possibilities that lie ahead of him.

So eager to start; September 1999
We all say it: Where did the time go? It doesn’t seem like twelve years since I snapped this photo of him, standing at the ready for his first day of first grade. We were still living with the kids’ father then; I was still married, but just barely. Our trio moved out just two weeks later. But you can’t see the stress of it on his face and that eases my mother-guilt, the worry that resides with me always, telling me that somehow I’m messing the kids up. He seems happy, though. Blissfully unaware that the Saturday after next, he’ll leave his father’s house and never sleep there again. He has no idea that his days with his father will become fewer and further between until the point that it will be weeks, then months and now years between visits. He’s so excited for the adventure of school. There’s no stopping the happy vibe emanating from him. It’s freakin’ adorable.
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Our little trio is growing up. Four years since the picture in our banner was taken, the kids have grown taller and wiser and this past weekend we celebrated the culmination of a dozen years of public school for Stuart at his graduation. Yes, indeed, my son–the one and only Stuart–has graduated from high school. I’m still in shock that he’s really this old; how old does that make me?

We’ve made it through all those years as a trio, something I hadn’t really thought about until putting his photos together. There were tons of pictures of the kids together and plenty of the three of us. I had only one from all the years with both me and his father plus the kids, a picture from 2003. It really has been just us, on our own, for every year of school for him. Every parent-teacher conference. Every first day and last day of school. Every back-to-school shopping trip. Every field trip and school break. Just me and them.

And to see Stuart’s turned out so well after all those years with just a mom…I couldn’t be prouder. He’s a champ. growing these last two years from the quiet kid in class to the one who takes charge. He led the charge on yearbook, prom, Solstice, winter formal, Outdoor school and was even asked to present the keynote speaker at his graduation.

Graduation was held at Chapman Elementary, like it is every year, because their school doesn’t have an adequate auditorium. Chapman has class and the same colorful motif that their school does, so it feels right. Besides, I love coming here for the Chapman Swifts (if you make it to Portland in the late summer, go see the swifts!)

Chapman Elementary School

He had quite the contingency of friends and family, including grandparents from both side, his great aunt, my sister and his father’s brother. My aunt flew up from California just for the occasion.

(from left to right) Great Aunt Diana, Mom, Grandpa H., Grandma H., Aunt Marcella, Stuart, Uncle Don, Grandpa C., Grandma C.

After the actual event, we headed over to our friend Eric’s house to celebrate with the requisite food, beverage and dessert. We also got the added benefit of some of the cousins being able to meet us there, along with their mom (Stuart’s aunt Gaylynne).

Getting the food ready and out to the masses.
Cousins: Emma and Sarah
Baby cousin Sarah slept through the whole party.
For dessert? His favorite: ice cream sandwiches.
Strawberry Shortcake to make it feel like summer.

It was a great day of celebrating, but a week later I’m still in awe, still trying to process what this means. Is it now “teresa and kid and adult child”? Not much will change, I suppose, until there’s a drastic shift in the living situation or until fall when he starts college. But it’s still weird to think about. I have a child who is not exactly a child anymore. I think I’ll be processing that part of it on my own blog.

Party! Party! Party!

Of one kind or another, it’s all I’ve been thinking about. My son graduates high school on Saturday and I feel faint at the thought of it, but the party afterward–can’t wait! I am hoping to get the time to make these adorable grad caps out of chocolate that I found on Craft. They originally came from Bakerella and she’s got a spiffy little tutorial on how to make them, both in brown and blue. Sweet!

I’m going to be making up other undecided-as-of-yet foods, as well and I’m sure all of Friday will be spent prepping for the whole mix of family and friends. But the chaos of the day will be worth it; he will be on his way to adulthood. Yay for him!

And a week later, it’s the PDX Etsy party!

With a day filled with crafty fun (freestyle embroidery! Japanese papercutting! Mighty Ugly!?) and quilting, then the evening filled with prizes and food and even more crafts… There’s just too much enjoyment potential. It’s gonna be great, really. I’ve had the opportunity to help out a bit on the planning and I’m stoked. If you’re in Portland, come on down.

If you’re elsewhere, how are you celebrating Etsy day?