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Graduation Day


Yesterday my son graduated from 8th grade. For a while we weren't sure it was going to happen, but he came through in the end and my wife and I are so very proud of him. This is my first time experiencing one of these things as a parent as opposed to a student (watching him graduate from 5th grade was more like watching a school Christmas program).

When he came out during the processional I teared up, overcome with pride in seeing my son by himself, getting one more step closer to manhood. My wife thanked me, but I didn't understand why, just as I don't when she thanks me for washing the dishes.

It's my job and I don't believe in receiving thanks for the things I'm SUPPOSED to be doing.

Congratulations, my son. And congratulations to all the parents and kids (no matter how young or old) out there who experienced the 2 hour wonderment-parking nightmare-drudgery-pomp and circumstance-silly adults behaving badly-holler and screamfest-video camera/point and shoot/dSLR (I had all three myself) extravaganza that a graduation is.

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Like the rest of the world, I was initially in denial when the word came over a sister-in-law's Blackberry that Michael Jackson had died. We were in the middle of my son's graduation dinner, actually waiting for dinner --- a good two hours after our appetizers came out --- and I just wasn't willing to accept it.

"He's died plenty of times before in the news," I said dismissively.

Then the news kept coming.

Then cell phones all over the restaurant started ringing. Since no one in the place was eating due to a party of 40 that completely shut down the kitchen, everyone started taking their calls.

From my end of the table I said, "T. graduated today and that's what we're here for." And the MJ chatter quieted quite a bit at my table, but it didn't stop.

Right now, I choose to neither mourn nor judge the man we ALL knew when the words, "Michael Jackson," were spoken. In my next post, after I've been able to absorb more of THIS, then I will honor him.

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