So it's graduation week at high schools all over America, and the Kleenex boxes are flying off the shelves. Moms and Grandmas across this great nation are stocking up on the tissues -- stuffing them in their sleeves, tucking them in side pockets of purses, making sure they're available at that crucial moment. The savvy investor has already put in a "buy" order for Kimberly-Clark stock. I'm just saying.
My sister's tall boy graduated Wednesday night to cheers and applause -- and emotional tears from Grandma, Mom-mom, and my sister. I suspect that Grandpa weeped a little weep too -- although he will never admit it. My mom -- never much of a weeper -- is gleefully dancing the stroll in heaven.
tangent: So my sister, a fifth grade teacher, fell at school on Tuesday and badly broke her wrist (surgery yesterday morning). The beautiful thing about this is that she has been hopped up on Percocet since then -- and crying at the drop of a hat as her cherished first-born prepared to don his cap and gown. This is different from her non-stoned state in exactly no way.
The tall boy took his last final exam on Wednesday morning which turned out not to be a final exam so much as an audition for an improv troupe. The requirement was to appear for the two-hour final dressed as a major character from one of the novels studied during the year. For the duration of the period, each student had to stay "in character" and engage in philosophical discussions with other characters during round-table encounters staged by the teacher.
Can I tell you how much the tall boy loved this? He was Charles Ryder from Brideshead Revisited; the night before the exam he made his parents quiz him about issues that are raised in the novel: youth and experience; the importance of the Catholic conversion experience; various definitions of decadence and redemption and memory . . . . All things considered this was a fabulous final exam.
The tall boy's dear pal -- he of the Physics rocket obsession -- showed up for the final as Jay Gatsby. The two tall boys were pretty into the Jazz Age look if you ask me.
So -- now the only thing left is graduation tomorrow morning. The grandparents and cousins are ready; the cap and gown have been hanging in the laundry room since March.
And I have stocked up on the Kleenex.