Oh, I love seeing the kids all dolled up for their proms. The gals sure do look more grown up then we did, but the boys? They pretty much look the same, don’t they? I can’t remember putting that much effort into my prom look, but maybe that’s ‘cause I was so busy plannin’ my wedding. See, Charlie and me were married two weeks after I graduated.
This year we went to two graduations. Our niece Katie graduated from Foxcroft Academy, that prep school over to Dover-Foxcroft, and our nephew Matthias from Moose Megantic High, the consolidated school here in town. They may have been different in the details, but those graduations were more alike than you’d think.
There’s a lot of things I like about graduations. I love the spectacle, of course, which I confess, kind of makes me tear up. Granted, that’s not a huge accomplishment; it doesn’t take much to make me cry. But seeing people walk in unison is apparently one of ‘em! I love how proud the families look, how much love is in the air. Most of all, it’s that feelin’ of endings and beginnings, sad and happy all at the same time that gets me. Love that!
I also enjoy the speeches, especially the ones where they say that sure, hard things are gonna happen, things won’t always go right, but it’ll all work out in the end. Or that you may be scared to do something, but don’t let that stop you. That you’ll learn more from your mistakes than your successes. I thought the valedictorian at Matthias’ graduation hit the nail on the head, though, when he said that the most important thing is to be content with your life. Smart kid. That’s a goal worth aimin’ for no matter what your age.
As I sit there in the noon day sun or the stuffy, overcrowded gym, I let Charlie wonder about how the hell we’re gonna get out of the parkin’ lot. I let the graduate’s parents worry about whether they bought enough hamburger rolls for the cookout, after. I let them all jostle each other to take the perfect photo of the exact moment the diploma is handed to their happy graduate. No, I just sit there on my foldin’ chair and pretend the speaker is talkin’ to me.
And sure, graduations makes me feel old. You know, remember when? But they also inspire me. They remind me that any kind of ending marks a new beginning. And I get a contact high from all that change-the-world-optimism. ‘Cause you don’t have to be eighteen to face your fears and do it anyways, to trust that somehow it’ll all work out.
Who knows what the future holds for Katie and Matthias? There’s a whole world of possibilities out there, just waitin’ for ‘em, and they got some pretty good advise to send them on their way.
Driving home, Charlie says to me, “Ida, that bit about being content. You can’t hear that one too much.” And we hold hands all the way home.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Hope to see you this summer!
Comin’ Up This Week:
June 27: Book Signing, Savoir Flare, 3:00-7:00pm, Berlin, NH
July 2: Book Reading, Belfast Free Library, 6:30pm
July 13: Signing and Featured Reader, Books in Boothbay, 11:30am-3:30pm, Boothbay Harbor, ME
July 14: Book Reading, Casco Public Library, 4:00pm
July 16: Book Reading, Rangeley Public Library, 6:00pm
July 20: Book Signing, Mooseville, 12:30-1:30pm, Farmington, ME
July 20: I Married an Alien!, Western Maine Storytelling Festival, 7:00pm, Farmington, ME
July 22: Book Reading, Huntington Common, 2:00pm (changed from 3:00), Kennebunk, ME
July 25: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You! Keynote Speech, DKG 2013 Northeast Regional Conference, Portland, ME
August 16: I Married an Alien!, Deertrees Theatre, 7:30pm, Harrison, ME
August 17: Islandport Authorfest, Book Signing with John Ford and Mark Ricketts, Kittery Trading Post, 11:00am-2:00pm, Kittery, ME
August 22: Ida: Woman Who Runs With the Moose!, ACT ONE Festival 2013, 2:00pm & 8:00pm, Portsmouth, NH
August 29: I Married an Alien!, ACT ONE Festival 2013, 2:00pm & 8:00pm, Portsmouth, NH
For details, please check out the schedule page on my website: http://www.idaswebsite.com/schedule