Sunday, May 25, 2014
It was the most perfect May day. As if the heavens looked down on a bunch of sweet kids and their families and said, "Let's do this right."
I got up early and went for a bird-counting run. Though it was only four miles and change, I had 62 species by the time I got back. 68 for the entire day. Imagine that, hearing and seeing so many birds without really trying. Just noticing. There are so many birds here where I live. It's one of the things I love most about living here, the chorus of voices all around me. And knowing where they all live, and going to see them.
Chet Baker and I sat at the old farm we love to visit, worked on our base tans, and gathered our energy for the huge day ahead. Phoebe's graduation ceremony was to start at 1 pm. It was the best way to start the day, to move fast and blow some carbon out of my pipes; to think, write, listen, notice. For this is a day I've had to work up to.
Phoebe, as Valedictorian of her class, got up and gave a speech right off the bat. She made music the central theme, and she spoke of the songs she and her classmates heard and sang, and of the many kinds of music they all made together as friends and teammates.
Her voice was clear, her diction was perfect, the speech was lovely, and she let Bill and me have absolutely nothing to do with it in the days leading up to its delivery. Same deal with the essay that helped her get into Bowdoin and four other colleges. And that, I realize, is as it should be. Even if we wanted to be helicopter parents, she wouldn't let us.
She's a redhead.
She'll do it herself.
Waiting with the other "T's" for her name to be called.
She read half the class's names. It must have been wonderful to read her dear friends' names, to call them up to the dias to get their diplomas. She looked like she was savoring every moment.
Somehow I don't think she'll have any trouble with public speaking going forward. The bigger the crowd, the better she does. It's an irony I've come to know well.
Here comes a medal.
There's the diploma.
Child had a lot of bling on by the end of the ceremony. The pale blue stole is National Honor Society. The cords are Spanish Honor Society. There are two medals, one for International Thespians, and the other for Class Valedictorian.
Our dear friend Matt gave the closing remarks. He was grateful. Grateful people are my favorites of all. His voice gave out on him as he wrapped up his appreciation of the school's wonderful principal, who is leaving. "Mrs. Rauch, thanks...for...(long pause)... everything."
It was the perfect ending...soulful and sweet and sincere.
Then our other beloved Matthew led the new graduates in his trademark pep rally Roller Coaster.
That boy can get 'em whipped up like nobody's business. Love our Matthew.
HAT TOSS!!! Note tall redhead, far right. She had written her name in her hat so she could find it again, and she did.
Graduating felt like this:
Because there is way too much beauty and joy and sweetness for one post, and it is in danger of leaking out of your computer screen and ruining something, I'm going to stop now. It's very late, going for midnight, and it's been a big, big day. More to come on Tuesday.
Big, happy sigh. I didn't cry. Much. I was too happy, and grateful.