Kyle in his cap and gown
The pics will be muddled because I'm a blog-website moron, the story starts below...
Slick and Denise from England
I'm going to have to do this blog in pieces because there is no way I can get all of this out at once. So stick with me, it might take a while to get all the little stories told. First of all, about six weeks ago I started planning Kyles Graduation party. I had invited Don and Max to attend and they agreed to come! Really, they were going to drive all the way from Ohio to Arkansas just to see us and I was thrilled.
As you all know, I have been in my own house since last September, and my divorce was final a couple of weeks ago. During my marriage, I had little contact with my extended family and parties and reunions were NOT encouraged so this was a very big first for me. Even though I used Kyles graduation as an excuse to have this party, it was, in so many ways MY celebration of getting my life back. Don't tell Kyle, but it really was all about me....
The guest list for the graduation was this: Don and Max from Ohio, Dad from Tulsa, Mom from Bartlesville, Slick and Denise Durham from England and Jessie, Katie and Cameron (Jessie's boyfriend) from Alaska. The arrival of my daughters from Alaska was a huge highlight, I hadn't seen them in more than a month and they get to stay for five weeks with me. After they go back I won't get to see them again until Christmas so I have to make sure I get good and sick of them before they leave.
My preparations had been going on for quite some time. Several weeks ago I bought a patio table and chairs, I have a nice little covered patio and I thought it would be a nice place to sit plus we would need the extra spots for people to eat. My front flower garden was nothing but 4 ft tall weeds so for Mothers day I asked for a wheel barrow which I got from Becca and got to work. It took me four days to dig up the flower bed, pull the weeds, shop for and buy flowers and soil to mix in with the dirt and mulch. I was quite proud of it when I was done but my hands were so sore from the hoe that it hurt to clap at the ceremony.
I took Friday off to clean the house. Momo agreed to come in on Friday and spend the night so that she could pick the girls up at the airport on Saturday. I was up at six am on Saturday trying to shop for groceries and get all the details taken care in an attempt to minimize the panic that I knew would soon set in. People began to arrive at about 11:30 am. Everyone came in and got organized and went to lunch at AQ chicken leaving me and the girls, who had been on a plane for 15 hours, to clean up and get dressed for the graduation.
The Graduation itself was at the University of Arkansas, Bud Walton Arena (It is Arkansas...Walmart MUST be involved..) I took a few photos but left most of the pics to the others so I could actually see my son graduate. Of course, I got choked up at first. When they were little, I would cry at every school play, music program, whatever, even if they weren't in it. It's pathetic, I know, Lucas family easy tears....
Kyle getting his diploma
The ceremony was a typical graduation, about an hour of pure boredom with 30 seconds of wild excitement and cheering. We were all a little confused by the speech, given by a car salesman who never went to college. I kept wondering where Obama was, surely MY baby was important enough to warrant his presence and words! But I guess not. We walked through the pouring down rain to get back to our cars.
I am so happy and grateful for everyone who came to the graduation. I hate to go to them and for others to suffer through one for my child is just amazing to me. Just getting Kyle there was a challenge. He didn't want to walk at all but I made him. If you could have only been there when I first found out that he turned down his invitation into the National Honor Society and then refused his honors collar and the cord he should have worn for his AP classes. He actually graduated with a 3.8 and college credit for four classes. He didn't think it was "fair" for some to look smarter than others when they were all graduating. I guess I didn't hit him hard enough with the "LIFE isn't fair" hammer when he was growing up.....
Anyway, this is only a small part of the weekend, stay tuned for episode two, "The Dinner Party"